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European pond tortoise Emys orbicularis

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herpetologic2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2005 at 5:22pm

 

Just an update really I have seen European Pond terrapins in Essex - unfortuantely they were for sale in a local exotic pet store - along with french marsh frogs!

JC

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ben Potterton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2005 at 6:39am

Dear All, I have been told that European Pond Tortoise have been breeding for many years in the southern Norfolk Broads and have had reports of several populations in Strumpshaw, Surlingham and Ranworth.

I am told that very young Emys were seen throughout the 1980's, I am going to speak to the Norfolk Records Office and see what else I can find.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2005 at 2:33pm
Personally, from all i've seen, heard, & read about over the years, i myself have very little doubt that European Pond Terrapins (& possibly American Red Eared Sliders) have done & do breed here in suitably mild areas of England with limited success in our warmest years. As Chas said in mentioning about Polish terrapins, these reptiles have longevity on their side with which to take full advantage of & annualy attempt to try & breed successfully. And young, alert little terrapins are hardly going to be easy little critters to spot in suitably lush habitat, such as fenlands.  Even in ideally warm enough years here for breeding , maybe only a quarter to half of a clutch of eggs make it to hatchling success, & then there's predators like Pike & Herons which no doubt keep surviving hatchling numbers down.        

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Sutton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2006 at 8:18am
I photographed an adult Emys at one of the Tilgate lakes in Crawley, West Sussex in 1987. It has since been drained to remove a substantial population of Red-eared Terrapins. Both populations introduced some time ago. I understood that all modern UK sightings of Emys originated from introductions on account of its disappearance as a result of a post-bronze age deterioration in climate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote corvid2e1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2015 at 8:22pm
Obviously this is a very old thread, but is anyone still looking into the status of this species in Norfolk? I have an adult female that was picked up in the broads, behaviour is very wild so doesn't seem to be a recent escape/dump. I would be interested to hear from anyone that would like to take a look at her, identify subspecies etc. Also looking for a home, so if anyone is working on breeding possible natives then let me know!
David
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2015 at 9:34pm
Hi David

Firstly, apologies for the delay in authorising your post.

I will be interested to see the results. This is a species I keep and breed myself with some animals direct imports and others wild-caught in the UK (including Norfolk!)

Sadly, I am not an expert on sub-species so can't help you there!

All the best
Chris
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote corvid2e1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2019 at 10:39pm
Reviving an old thread again but I thought it worth mentioning that I have just been brought yet another "stray" Emys found in Norfolk, this time an adult male. This one was found in Hickling, so again very close to the broads and I suspect far more likely a wild individual rather than and escaped/dumped pet. Anyone still looking into this topic?
David
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2019 at 11:01pm
Certainly worth mentioning.
There is also the question of whether they can actually breed (incubate their eggs) in this country. I appreciate this is purely anecdotal evidence BUT I could not find one clutch of eggs from my garden colony last year. The, on 16 April this year, I found a hatchling wandering around in their enclosure. There MAY have been more but with seagulls and corvids chances of survival would be small. I posted elsewhere as follows:-
"Each and every year I breed European Pond Tortoises (Emys orbicularis) by harvesting the eggs and incubating them artificially. Last year, a batch of eggs was laid in June which I was unable to find. This morning, I went into the terrapin enclosure and found a hatchling walking along a path. Still a small amount of egg sac attached. So, did it hatch late in the year and immediately hibernate or did the egg overwinter? I suspect the latter due to the yolk sac. I am not aware of any other records of natural incubation in the UK in this species BUT, it does give the lie to the theory that the animals occasionally found in East Anglia could not breed naturally - perhaps they really are the remnants of a natural population? Certainly they get more sunshine than here and my garden is somewhat limited for sunshine due to us being in a valley. Needless to say .... I am thrilled!!"
Chris
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote corvid2e1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2019 at 11:35pm
Fantastic, and anecdotal or not it is proof that wild breeding is possible, however rare it might be. Certainly this species seems to show up more frequently than they should if they were all simply dumped captives given how relatively uncommon and valuable they are in captivity compared to other species. During the time I have been working in rescue, bearing in mind we run mainly as a wildlife centre rather than specifically for exotics, I have taken in only around 5 or 6 "stray" freshwater turtles that have been caught in the wild. These have been mostly commonly kept exotics such as Sliders and Maps as would be expected, but 2 now have been Emys, which seems pretty out of proportion to me. I am aware that there was some introduction attempts in this area many years ago so maybe it is simply down to this being more successful that generally acknowledged, but it seems a shame that no one seems to be interested in DNA testing these wild caught individuals to figure out what their origin really is.
David
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 8:18am
I agree David re DNA testing. Although to make this meaningful a significant number of animals would need to be tested.
Chris Davis, Site Administrator

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