The most commonly kept pet turtle in the world, the red eared slider has made a home of the California Delta. Native to the southeastern U.S., rachemys scripta elegans reaches an average length of 12 inches (about the size of a soccer ball) and can live for 30 years.
Which is part of the problem. The red eared slide can easily dominate whatever body of water they inhabit, and, moreover, they're larger than the native western pond turtle and prefer essentially the same habitat. Their presence along with the destruction of native habitat, has contributed to a decline in the number of western pond turtles in the California Delta.
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