Published: Sunday 30 September 2001

Environmentalists have warned that a popular carnivorous freshwater turtle species imported to Sri Lanka is posing a serious threat to the country's indigenous fish species and aquatic animals. The turtle, known as the red eared slider (Trachymis scripta), is classified under the world's worst invasive species by the International Conservation Union. "The sliders have been found in large numbers in many marshes. These turtles have proved to be a menace for countries like Thailand and Malaysia and we may face the same situation if the government fails to take immediate steps," said Jagath Gunawardene, member of the Society for Environment Education, an environmental research group.

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