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3 Oct 2014
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Red-eared Terrapins Damaging Lake Environment
Bob Walker reports
Red-eared Terrapins Damaging Lake Environment. Bob Walker reports. Aggressive, foreign predators are wreaking havoc among local wildlife at a reservoir in South Derbyshire.

Red-Eared Terrapins, a relic of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze of the early 90s, are slowly munching their way through the eggs and chicks of birds at Foremark reservoir near Melbourne.

So far almost 90 per cent of the Great-Crested Grebe population in the area has been wiped out. Other breeds have also suffered.

The tortoise-like terrapins can live for more than 50 years and grow to the size of a small dinner plate. They are native to North America and it's thought that many of them were bought for children obsessed with the Ninja Turtles TV series.

At least two have been spotted in Derbyshire although there are reports they've been seen elsewhere across the country.

Conservation workers from Severn Trent Water have been using nets to catch them but so far without success.

"The problem is they're very elusive customers," says Severn Trent's conservation advisor Andy Warren.

"They seem to be able to detect any vibration from footsteps and quickly disappear into the water."

But now they've designed a trap - a kind of adapted lobster pot - which they hope will soon solve the problem.

Any captured Red-Eared Terrapins - are likely to be sent to Italy which has a nature area designed to meet all their needs.

Red-eared Terrapins
Ninja Turtles
- Official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' site

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an image of a Red-eared Terrapin.
Red-eared Terrapin
Listen - Hear the report on terrapins. (05/11/2002)
an image of three of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
an image of Andy Warren, conservation advisor with Severn Trent Water
Andy Warren, conservation advisor with Severn Trent Water
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