I must admit, seeing these guys on the Canal is quite... nice. They are pretty little things and pose very well for the camera.. However, they have the potential to cause a lot of damage to our native wildlife. They are opportunistic creatures that will eat whatever is on offer in that particular season.. There are a few particular things that concern me when seeing these guys in the Canal.. People have been asking me, where is all the frog spawn on the canal this year? Well.. Most of it had sunken to the bottom at that point but, frog spawn and tadpoles would be on the hit list for a feeding terrapin. Also, dragonfly larvae, small fish, frogs, toads and even baby chicks would be easy pickings for a terrapin that can swim fast when it wants to and has a perfect camouflage for any water environment. It is on that note alone that I will be reporting these guys to our local ecologist to see if anything can be done about these invasive species that simply don't belong there.
If there were any positive effects of their presence, i'm not sure it would outweigh the negative effect at this point. For now I'll continue to document them and their activities on my patch. I've already recorded 2 in the same area so who knows, they may be breeding.
A lot of people blame the pet owners for irresponsibly releasing them into the wild but personally I think the Pet Industry is largely to blame for over producing and breeding these animals to the point where they are ending up in too many homes (most of which breed them privately).