A carnivorous turtle in the process of establishing itself in Norwegian rivers

A carnivorous turtle in the process of establishing itself in Norwegian rivers

This red-eared turtle was also found where it shouldn't be. It appeared in 2005 at the Freetex warehouse in Alnabru. Photo: Jorgen Brastad / VG

Several unwanted turtles have been found at Lågen in Larvik. The animals may have come from aquariums, but Norway is better off in nature.

The turtles are a North American species and may have been released into tributaries, says Nils-Olav Zijon, who is responsible for disease preparedness at the Neumedalslagen management group.

– They are also spread in tributaries. It's hard to say how many there are, Gijon adds Østlands-Posten.

This species is the red-eared terrapin, which is carnivorous and can take both birds, eggs and fish. Gijon believes that the number of observations now indicates that these turtles have established themselves.

– Now, together with the Veterinary Institute and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, we have to decide what to do. “We use a lot of resources to get rid of unwanted species in other waters, which is a grueling job,” he says.

This species is popular in aquariums and therefore spread to many parts of the world. In many places native species have been displaced. According to Store norske lexikon, it occurs naturally in many places in Sweden and Denmark.

The red-eared terrapin is banned for import into the EU, and is not allowed as a hobby animal in Norway.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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