Japanese turtles become a plague in Mexico
Experts say that small Japanese turtles are often very aggressive with other species. Find out more.
Japanese turtles are a species that in Mexico can be found in any market and fair, but far from friends that we fed and cared for when children, today they are a serious problem for the ecosystem.
Contrary to what its name suggests, Japanese turtles do not come from Japan. Its origin is between the '80s and '90s when the United States distributed 52 million "copies" all over the world, Mexico being one of those nations.
Because they are cheap and small, these turtles became the ideal pet for families with small homes and low resources. However, these reptiles are not as innocent as they seem.
Japanese turtle, a plague in Mexico
A few days ago the International Union for the Conservation of Nature included the Japanese turtle in the list of the 100 most harmful invasive alien species. According to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, the commercialization of this species had been banned since 2014, but we all know that this is not the case.
According to the biologist, Eduardo Rendón of the Directorate of Priority Species of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), this species has become a plague for the uninformed purchase of its specimens and the release in areas where other animal species live.
"Unfortunately, it is a species that has many requirements for space, food and cleaning for maintenance at home, so in the long term the owners decide to release them into bodies of water, causing their dispersion to natural environments."
The main problem with this species is that it is usually very competitive with other types of turtles because of the space to nest, the sun, for food, and females. Experts say that small Japanese turtles are usually very aggressive.
"Even small-sized specimens can fight with large specimens of other species and win because they are very aggressive, because of their bite, they are always trying to bite."