Invasive turtle species in Croatia

With the arrival of spring, turtle activity increases and the project team is more active in Work pacage 4 task 4.2.

There are two species of freshwater turtles, the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) and the Balkan Terrapin (Mauremys rivulata), as well as one land turtle (Testudo hermanni) that are native in Croatia. However, invasive alien species, such as the Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) and other turtles of the genus Trachemys, which are often brought in through the pet trade, can also be found in Croatia's natural habitats. Invasive freshwater turtles of the genus Trachemys are native from the SE part of the USA to the Gulf of Mexico, but they have been introduced as pets all over the world, and we can find them in almost all of Croatia, where they inhabit various freshwater habitats.

The presence of invasive species can negatively impact native species through competition for resources and space. In the case of Trachemys turtles, they are larger, more aggressive, and reach sexual maturity earlier than our native turtles, giving them an advantage in shared habitats. They can also spread parasites and pathogens to native turtles.

To help protect native species and biodiversity in your area, you can report invasive species to your local nature protection institutions. For example, Croatia’s Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia developed an app for reporting invasive species to help the citizens get involved in solving this issue.

Check out the photo gallery below to learn about the native Croatian turtles and how to distinguish them.







Date of publication: 28 of June 2023





Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Cookie Policy.