Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Imported species endanger Palmones turtles

LOS BARRIOS / Palmones The native species of turtle on the Palmones River is being taken over by two species imported from America. The latter (trachemys Scripta Elegans and trachemys Scripta Scripta) are the type bought at pet shops or won as prizes at fairs - and then tossed into the river because they've grown. The environmental pressure group, Verdemar-Ecologistas en acción, have asked the Junta's Department of the Environment for permission to remove them and take them to the zoo at Castellar. Behind the request is a study of two important parts of the river. The first was at the old dam close to the now-closed Celupal factory, where the invading species accounts for between 20% and 30% of the turtle population. The second tranche of the river inspected, was between the Mirador del Río urbanization and Cortijo Jaramillo, where the invasion accounted for 5%. The problem is that the American species reproduce more rapidly than the native species, and there is a fear that this could be a repetition of a severe invasion of non-native red crab, which is proving extremely difficult to eradicate because of its adaptability.

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