Montana Authorities Recommend Shipping Turtles to Texas, Ban Sale of Red-Eared Sliders
The red-eared slider can be seen in turtle tanks across the country, but a recent decision by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks means that the species can't be sold in Montana any more.
"What we're really trying to do is prevent any further intake of these turtles into Montana," said FWP Non-Game Wildlife Management Bureau Chief Lauri Hanauska-Brown. "These little water turtles can be difficult to keep, so there is a tendency by some folks to let the turtles go. Putting them in our native turtle habitat has been problematic because these little buggers can survive the winter, and breed, so we have now non-native turtles taking over native turtle habitat."
Those that already own a red-eared slider can obtain an exotic species license so they can continue to own their pet. There is also another option.
"Really the best thing is to take the turtles to your local Humane Society office, that is your best bet. The Humane Society out of Billings is going to, in a sense, rehab these turtles, decontaminate them so their not carrying any diseases, and then they are going back to a pond in Texas, where they are native."
The last day for the turtle round-up was supposed to be Monday, September 15, but Hanauska-Brown says the date will probably be extended.