Water conservation in Stuttgart: the turtles have to move – Stuttgart

Turtles especially feel at home on the shores of the overgrown Lake of Fire. Photo: Lichtgut / Leif Piechowski

Large numbers of invasive reptiles are also released in Stuttgart. However, anyone who takes it out of the water must ensure proper care of the species. This may be a problem when lakes are drained for processing.

Two bodies of water will be drained in Stuttgart this year: the Fiorssee and the Barensee. Two sites whose charms attract a large audience. This has become the fate of the lake of fire: it is filthy and scattered and must be drained and cleaned. On the other hand, the Bärensee must run empty because the dam between Neuer See and Bärensee is under renovation.

Bought a cub and then abandoned it

So that the fish and amphibians in these waters are not harmed, the Württemberg Anglers’ Association, water tenants, must rescue the animals. Carp, tench, pike, perch, eel, whitefish, grass carp – and male turtles live in Bear Lake. “It’s not a problem with fish, we can release them again. But turtles are a problem for us. Some are invasive species that can’t be released again. That would be illegal,” says Hans-Hermann Schock. He has been waiting since November for a clear commitment from The city is about the institution that should look after the animals after they are removed from the lakes.

The red-and-yellow-headed turtle is a popular motif for some, but an unwelcome animal for others because it is invasive. They migrated not surreptitiously on the usual transport routes, but via the pet trade. “When they are young, they are cute. But if an adult tortoise of this species measures 30cm on the shell and has a life expectancy beyond the owners’ nurturing stamina, it will often be released,” says Isabel Koch, Reptile Curator at Wilhelma, ‘Ideally in a lake.’

In ecologically valuable waters like park lakes, they “disturb the animals that live there,” says Isabel Koch. Their diet consists of aquatic insects, crustaceans, small fish and aquatic plants, so large numbers can exterminate other species. The number of turtles you are dealing with will soon be discovered in Bear Lake. According to the regional council, all three park lakes are expected to begin hunting and counting reptiles at the end of May.

Counting starts at the end of May

The so-called fishing is not carried out with a landing net, but with the help of a plate on which the bait is placed and lowered into the water. If a turtle sat on it, attracted by food, the dish is pulled back. Due to the high edge of the plate, the animal cannot escape.

There is only a rescue center in Munich

But what do you do with all the reptiles? A spokeswoman said the regional council had an answer, at least for the animals from Bear Lake: “They will be taken to the Reptile Sanctuary in Munich.” However, one of the reserve’s biggest problems is that more than half of the confiscated or surrendered animals are turtles. A new building was planned but not completed yet. “The station currently accepts no more than five turtles at a time, but we can easily get about 100 in Stuttgart,” says Hans-Hermann Schock, president of the Württemberg Anglers Association.

So far, Baden-Württemberg has not offered a safe haven. Hans Hermann Schock would be happy about that. But even without a sanctuary, the issue of accommodation should be resolved quickly, according to Schock: “Lake of Fire is in dire need of cleaning, and there are a lot of invasive turtles out there.” Population, the problem arises again. By Friday evening, there was no answer to this question from the responsible department in the city of Stuttgart.

Perhaps the trick could help, at least in the Lake of Fire: for example, not to get the turtles out of the water in the first place. Isabelle Koch says: “If you leave some water in there, the trash can be removed and the animals left for their own good. A pond is not an ecologically valuable body of water, you have to be practical.”

crocodile treatment

Young turtles sometimes fall prey to raccoons, but the crocodile is the only predator that loves red and yellow-eared adult turtles. Two saltwater crocodiles, Frederick and Tong, and the freshwater crocodile Bella (officially) live in Stuttgart, in Wilhelma. But domestic turtles won’t end up as food for the two of them: “Crocodiles are creatures of habit. They prefer chicken, rabbits and fish,” says Isabel Koch.

American immigrants

Red and yellow-eared sliders are at home in the United States. The population in Germany is abandoned animals. Females reach 30 cm in length, males remain slightly smaller at 25 cm. Due to its ability to compete with domestic animal species, the release and import of animals for commercial purposes is prohibited. It has been listed as an invasive species by the BW State Environmental Institute.

Eared surfers live from 30 to 40 years, and they love ponds, slow-moving stretches of rivers, muddy bottoms, and areas of beaches with thick vegetation. They often bask for hours, usually in large flocks. In the wild, animals mate only when the spring temperature is high enough. So far there is no evidence of offspring in the wild.

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