Where Do Red-Eared Slider Turtles Live: Habitat and Water Preferences Around the World

Red-eared slider habitat includes areas where there is plenty of vegetation and ample room for basking sites. This type of environment provides shelter for the animals during cold weather. In addition, it offers enough food supply for the reptiles. This area should have no standing water since the sliders do not like stagnant water.

The next step up from the abovementioned habitat is a stream or creek. These bodies provide a steady flow of water, which keeps the temperature stable. However, the sliders can easily drown in fast currents.

A pond is similar to a large lake. The difference is that a pond doesn’t have a current, while lakes usually have one. Ponds are often found in rural locations because people prefer to live near nature. An excellent example of a pond is a small body of water located behind a house.

If you’re looking for a natural setting to raise red-eared sliders, look for a slow-moving river. You’ll find some lovely places along the banks of these waterways. If you want to use an artificial habitat, try building a pool. 

Red-Eared Slider Turtles Habitat Preference

Red-eared slider habitat preference varies depending on where you live. For example, red-eared sliders in some parts of North America favor slow-moving water bodies with abundant aquatic plants and cover. These include streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes.

In other parts of North America, however, they prefer fast-flowing water bodies that are deeper than 2 feet and have rocky bottoms. This includes canals, ditches, and park lakes/ ponds.

Red-eared sliders are typically found near urban areas because of the high incidence of pet release.

Waters Around the World

They’re also known as “water tortoises” because of their ability to move across land and water. Red-eared slider populations are found across much of North America. And while they’re generally considered American creatures, they’ve also been introduced into other parts of the world. Red-eared sliders are native to North America, but they’ve also been brought over to other places around the globe, where they live and flourish.

In Australia, for example, there are several large population centers where they’re pretty standard. One such place is in Queensland, southeast of Brisbane. There, red-eared sliders are present throughout the area’s waterways.

The species is widespread across most of Canada, too. But it’s mainly concentrated along the Atlantic Coast, where they’re often seen living near rivers. They’re also frequently spotted in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec.

They’re also known to inhabit the Great Lakes, which you can find in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ontario, Pennsylvania, and New York. While they’re considered native to North America, they’ve been transported to other parts of the world, where they’ve done well.

For example, they’ve been introduced to the Mediterranean Sea, thriving in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey. They’ve also been taken to South Africa, where they’re doing well in the Western Cape Province. And in Australia, they’re flourishing in Queensland, where they’ve become one of the state’s most popular pets.

Why They Are Found Around the World

These small mammals arrived in many places via human activity. In addition to being sold as pets and eaten as food, they are transported worldwide. Red-eared sliders live near water, where they eat fish and insects.

They often travel long distances, and some people release them into waterways, thinking it will keep them out of trouble. But once there, they can become pests. They eat native plants and animals, compete with birds for nesting sites, and cause property damage.

Spotting Red-Eared Sliders

Red-eared slider turtles are among the most common reptiles found in North America. While some turtle species lay eggs, it is rare for them to hatch into the world; instead, these small animals grow up inside their eggshells.

While adults are often seen basking in sunlight, they spend much of their lives submerged in water. This makes it difficult for people to identify them without taking them out of the water.

The bright red spots behind each ear are a form of camouflage. These spots help the animal blend in with the substrate it rests upon.

Captive Red-Eared Sliders

Captive breeding programs began in the late 1970s, and red-ear slider numbers have grown exponentially. In addition to the increase in population size, the number of individuals moving out of captivity into the natural world has also increased. These two factors combine to create an ever-increasing demand for these lizards. In captivity, they require a lot of space, lots of food, and plenty of water.

They are very active during the day and love to bask in the sun. However, they don’t like being cold, so make sure to provide them with a warm environment. You can place them in a heated aquarium or even put some heat lamps over them.

The best way to feed them is to give them live crickets. Crickets are easy to find and inexpensive so you won’t break the bank feeding them. Also, change their diet now and again because they’ll eat just about anything.