Is the red-eared slider an invasive species?

The red-eared slider turtle is native in much of the mid- to south-central United States. However, it is an invasive species in California, Oregon, Washington and many other states. The US Geological Survey has mapped areas where it is native and not.

What states are red-eared sliders illegal?

In Oregon, it is prohibited to buy, sell, or possess many turtle species, including the red-eared slider. Since 1975, it has been illegal in the United States to sell or distribute turtles with shells that measure less than 4 inches in length.

Do slider turtles bite?

Red Eared Sliders bite, and the bite can be quite painful. But it’s highly unlikely because these reptiles don’t bite “just because.” Instead, these reptiles bite if you push them too hard. Thankfully, you can prevent this behavior.

Can I let my red-eared slider go?

Realize that simply letting your turtle “loose” in the wild is illegal, unethical, and may cause serious damage to wildlife in your area. Most released sliders will die in the wild, and the survivors may choke out native turtles for food and habitat.

Can a red eared slider turtle drown?

All turtles, including red eared sliders, spend a lot of time submerged underwater. Even though red eared sliders love swimming and submerging themselves, they can drown. In fact, all turtles can drown because they do not have the ability to breathe underwater.

Are red-eared sliders smart?

Red-eared sliders are friendly—for turtles. They have shown levels of intelligence and owner recognition, and will frequently greet their keeper during feeding time, sometimes even eating out of the palm of their hand.

Can you set a pet turtle free?

Never release a pet turtle into the wild. Turtles kept in captivity may not have the important nutrients they need to survive through the cold winter. In addition, your turtle may not be native to your area and should not interbreed with wild turtles.