20 February 2021

Terrapins on Oléron

These are photos I took nearly 12 years ago at the Marais aux Oiseaux bird sanctuary and refuge on the Île d'Oléron, off the French Atlantic coast. As you can see, they don't have just birds there.



  1. Ken, they haven't got a European Pond Terrapin or Pond Tortoise [Emys orbicularis].....
    Tiese are Red-Eared Sliders [Trachemys scripta elegans]Tortue à Tempes Rouge.... sold as Ninja Turtles, they are a North American species that is now established across Europe.... your info for everything but the name & family are the same for both species, except the Ninja Slider remains almost wholey carnivorous for far longer.

    1. I should know better... I remember a sign there warning people not to let Florida tortoises go in ponds... Here's what the Marais aux Oiseaux web site says: ...un enclos à Tortues de Floride explique qu’il ne faut pas relâcher dans la nature ces tortues exotiques. Leur importation en Europe est interdite depuis 1997, car elles risquent d’évincer une petite tortue aquatique autochtone rare et protégée, la Cistude d’Europe, qui vit dans nos marais littoraux. Cette dernière est peu commune à Oléron. Au Marais aux Oiseaux, sa population y est estimée à 20-25 individus.

  2. I was surprised to see a terrapin of some sort in the dock near where I live in London - presumably someone's way of disposing of one they'd grown tired of having at home, or some such. I'd imagine it could find fish to eat, but the water might have been too cold for it to survive for long.

  3. I thought those guys looked familiar.

  4. Great pictures! I’m sure you’ve heard about the 3,500 turtles, in Texas, that were gathered up and taken to some large building because they were in danger of freezing to death.


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