What should be done with invasive Red-Eared Sliders?

Yesterday I found a Red-Eared Slider on a railway track in Slovenia, of course I removed it, but then I didn’t know what to do. The nearest body of water was a brackish wetland some 100 m away, but I think brackish water isn’t optimal for freshwater turtles and I haven’t seen any other individuals. Moreover, it is an invasive species, so searching for a lake/river to release it to wouldn’t be very reasonable either. I ended up taking it to the administration of a nearby nature reserve where I was told that it would be euthanized :( It made me really sad and now I think I should have released it into the brackish water, because that’s probably where it lived before attempting a “railway trip”. But that’s the emotional part of me, and perhaps rationally euthanasia is the best solution? If it was up to me, I would probably build special ponds for the invasive turtles where they could continue this life, but the lady working in the nature reserve said they simply have too many of them.
Is RES indeed as threatening to native wildlife as it’s said to be? According to the articles I’ve read, it’s not able to reproduce successfully in most regions of Europe, so I’d imagine that the population would gradually die out once people stop releasing their pets (and they should definitely be banned in pet trade). Aren’t stray cats much more of a problem than RES? It’s true that the European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis) is threatened, but I’d blame people more than RES.
What are your thoughts? What is the common practice in your country/area?

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I’m pretty sure they do have too many of them, they’re good breeders in captivity, so one more or one less isn’t a big difference, I saw a little closeed pond once for those brought up by owners or who caught them, there were like no free space, so maybe this reserve is in the same situation?
Here they’re probably not breeding too as even pond turtles are thought to all be escapees, don’t know if anybody really catching them, there’re bigger threats for waterlife, e.g. Amur sleeper.

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There’s pretty good evidence that red-eared sliders do have negative effects on native turtles due to competition (though I don’t know about Slovenia specifically). Example: https://www.dailycal.org/2019/08/26/research-shows-invasive-red-eared-slider-turtles-compete-with-native-turtles-for-resources/
But you can find others online.

They are capable of reproducing in urban environments in many world areas (though again, don’t know about yours specifically). Regardless, turtles are long-lived, so the negative effects from one individual can extend for a long time.

The species is definitely not threatened in its native range, and it’s common in cities worldwide, so removing an individual won’t have a negative impact on the species.

I would definitely remove it from the wild. One option would be to give it to someone who does want it as a pet (unlikely, but they might exist). I think euthanasia is a reasonable action here if done by qualified wildlife/vet people. I don’t recommend anyone try to euthanize a turtle on their own, as there aren’t really humane ways to do this “at home”. But drug-based euthanasia that vets do is humane. I think you made a good decision here and don’t need to feel bad about it.

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RES are bad news for native turtles/other freshwater pond species and the overall health of ponds and freshwater ecosystems, here is one external source further explaining this problem (https://environment.bm/red-eared-slider)

Overall I feel like this problem should be being solved by local enviromental authorities and fish and wildlife, however frustratingly they do not do anything in most cases (same case for invasive bullfrogs and many invasive plant species either due to lack of funding or some other complicated form of issue.) I agree with cthawley that these turtles should be dealt with either by veterinary euthanasia or by being cared for by KNOWLEDGABLE and qualified reptiles keepers similarly to that of animal sanctuaries.

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In some places it is illegal to release or relocate RES.

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In my area of Southwest U.S. we have a native species of Trachemys called the Big Bend Slider. Red-eared Sliders from the pet trade have been released by owners wanting to liberate their pets within the range of the native slider. Evidence is growing that hybridization might be impacting the Big Bends by swamping out the native genetic stock. So these turtles are bad news.

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You could try to keep it as a pet if you wanted too, otherwise just kill it.

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Thanks everyone for your answers.
Obviously, euthanizing invasive turtles is a rational solution from ecological point of view. I just can’t help feeling sorry for the turtles themselves, because it’s not their fault. But I realize there’s not much we can do. If we build special ponds for RES, it will encourage people to bring even more unwanted pets there. As usually, the problem is caused by people and not by the animals.

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In those places, I would follow up by finding out if it is legal to take them into captivity. There are many places where it is illegal to take a native turtle into captivity, and I wonder if the law is nuanced enough to distinguish native from invasive in this matter.

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They have been confirmed to breed in Southern Canada. I have never been to Slovenia, but I suspect the climate isn’t too different. If they can breed in southern Canada, they may be able to breed in Slovenia.

They have been suspected of successful reproduction in Serbia.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282973796_Possible_reproduction_of_the_red-eared_slider_Trachemys_scripta_elegans_Reptilia_Testudines_Emydidae_in_Serbia_under_natural_conditions

It is illegal in most Western countries to release non native animals.

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