Red-Eared Slider

North America

General description

Turtle with olive to brown carapace patterned with yellow spots or stripes and distinctive red stripe behind eyes.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not release any red-eared slider from containment within the Auckland region.
  • You must not move any red-eared slider to Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.
  • You must not breed, distribute or release any red-eared slider on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.
  • From 1 September 2022, you will not be allowed to breed, distribute or sell any red-eared slider or other sub-species of Trachemys scripta within the Auckland region.

Still or slow-moving waterbodies, ponds, lakes, wetlands, rivers, drainage ditches.

Eats plants, zooplankton, molluscs, fish, frogs, crustaceans, insects, gastropods, birds and small reptiles. May transmit diseases to native reptiles and amphibians. Basking behaviours may displace nesting wetland birds. May reduce water quality.


If you have pet red-eared sliders, make sure they’re securely contained to avoid accidental escapes. If you are no longer able to look after your pet red-eared slider, find someone who is prepared to give it a lifetime home, or contact a relevant pet shop or animal rescue organisation to get it rehomed. Never release a red-eared slider into the wild – your pet may be unable to find the food and shelter it needs, and it also puts our native species at risk.

Find out more:

If you see a red-eared slider in the wild, report it to Auckland Council at

Search tags

RPMP status

Aotea (Exclusion)
Whole region (Sustained Control)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
Red-eared slider - Main species image