Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Invaders on the Tuolumne River!
I don't know much about turtles, so I snapped some pictures before they slid into the river. I immediately took to my phone to identify it, hoping it would be a native variety, but found out right away that it was an invasive species, specifically the Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). The only native species in this area is the Western Pond Turtle, but the red streak was distinctive to the Slider.
World's Worst Invasive Alien Species (the other is the Brown Tree Snake that decimated the native birds of Guam; I don't know how the Pythons of Florida missed the list). So my river trail is under siege. During the drought, River Hyacinth choked the river. This week I found that Star Thistle had taken root along the trail (somehow they became unrooted today; I hope for good). I don't know if anyone is acting on the turtles. They seem benign enough; they are just making their living in an environment that they can thrive in, but they also contribute to the undoing of the ecosystem.