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Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Welcome to Turtle Tally!

UK Citizen Science Research on Released Pet Terrapins

Thank you for stopping by our website. The project is aimed at collecting observational data, from the public, on the locations where we see terrapins in local lakes and ponds in the UK. If you spot them in a waterbody, you can submit your sighting to the survey link below. Your input is so important and working together we can collect information to understand more on this topic. We have two survey links, one for the general sightings and another specifically for anglers to complete. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions and take a look at some of our pages to learn more.

Important notes:

  • This is an observational study, regarding the public, so there is no need to disturb or handle terrapins.

  • Please ensure your safety when near open bodies of water.

  • Releasing non-native species in the UK is against the law.

  • As part of our research, we may remove a small number of individuals to assess welfare and these animals will be rehomed in our sanctuaries following this. They will not be released back into the wild for reasons stated above.

  • By submitting photos, you are agreeing for them to be used to aid in publicising the project.

We have two surveys, one is aimed at the general public and the other is aimed at anglers. Please ensure you complete the correct one below:

Summary: Capture, release and rehoming Trachemys scripta species

Wild Capture

If a released terrapin is accidentally captured or handled, the animal(s) must be released immediately. If the animal is being taken to a vet, it is their responsibility and cannot be released. It is illegal to release a non-native species in the UK.


There are specific stipulations regarding the rehoming of Trachemys scripta species (Red-eared sliders, Yellow-bellied sliders and Cumberland sliders). Current regulations state that there needs to be proof of ownership prior to the regulations being in force and that documentation is to be passed to new owners. This includes: receipt of purchase, pet insurance, veterinary documents or microchip identification number (pre-2016). A transfer to new ownership can also be exchanged. In addition, they cannot be sold or traded for goods in exchange. Slider terrapins must be taken to a licenced rehoming centre or sanctuary if needing to rehome otherwise.  For further information, please click on the link below.

Traditional Library

Government Guidelines: Invasive Non-native (Alien) species

Turtle Tally: What do we do?
KMTV News clip Turtle Tally August 2020


  • SEH Herpetological Congress Conference
    SEH Herpetological Congress Conference
    Mon, Sep 04
    Sep 04, 2023, 7:30 AM – Sep 08, 2023, 7:30 AM
    Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK
    Sep 04, 2023, 7:30 AM – Sep 08, 2023, 7:30 AM
    Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK
  • BIAZA Native Species Working Group
    BIAZA Native Species Working Group
    Thu, Jun 24
    Online 2 day conference
    Jun 24, 2021, 3:20 PM – 3:45 PM
    Online 2 day conference
    Jun 24, 2021, 3:20 PM – 3:45 PM
    Online 2 day conference
    We have been asked to talk about the potential impacts released pet terrapins are having on native species in this short talk on the topic.

Contact us

We hope you have found everything you were looking for, if not, please do contact us. We are a volunteer-run project so please bear with us. 


National Centre for Reptile Welfare and Hadlow College,
Kent TN11 0AN.

Thanks for submitting!

Collaborators and Supporters

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