AN invasive and aggressive turtle with a temper and destructive habits has been found on the Central Coast, prompting a warning from the council.
The red-eared slider turtle is an international pest, and considered one of the world’s most damaging invasive species.
In July, a red-eared slider turtle was discovered by Central Coast Council's waterways operations team.
Another was located at a house at Berkeley Vale this week.
There have also been reported sightings at other suburbs around Wyong.
Central Coast Council’s noxious weeds and pest species officer Paul Marynissen said the warmer weather meant turtles were on the move.
“We have had unconfirmed sightings of red-eared sliders from across the Coast, including at Berkeley Vale, Kanwal, Tuggerawong, Hamlyn Terrace and Woongarrah and now one captured by a keen-eyed resident in their backyard in Berkeley Vale,” Mr Marynissen said.
“With the weather warming up all reptiles, including these turtles, are more active and on the move looking for food, so we are more likely to spot them if they are here.”
Council is encouraging the community to keep an eye out for the turtles, particularly around waterways.
“If you spot a turtle in the local environment, look for the distinct red markings over the ears, it’s a sure sign for these aggressive animals,” Mr Marynissen said.
If you spot a turtle in the local environment, look for the distinct red markings over the ears, it’s a sure sign for these aggressive animals.- Paul Marynissen
“Red-eared sliders are also distinctive in the way they retract into their shell. The red-eared slider will pull its head straight back into the shell, whereas native turtles have to curve their necks around.
“If you spot one of these turtles in or around our local waterways, please report it to council immediately.”
The red-eared slider turtle is listed on the illegal pet trade.
It is illegal to possess or sell them without a permit.
“This turtle competes with our natives for food and habitat, even eating the young of our local turtles,” Mr Marynissen said.
“The quicker we can capture and remove these animals from the local environment, the better it well be for the native species.”