Warning after invasive terrapin spotted in Chichester canal

A warning has been issued after an invasive terrapin was spotted in Chichester canal this week.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 5:31 pm

The shelled reptile was pictured in a bird nest in the canal on Sunday (May 2) sparking concerns for the safety of other wildlife along the water way.

An eye witness described seeing the terrapin after having 'commandeered' a coot's nest during. Terrapins can damage and destroy bird eggs.

A spokesperson for the Chichester Canal Trust said: "The Canal and River Trust list terrapins under their ‘Rogues Gallery’ of invasive species. They say that Britain’s inland waterways were a safer place for bird eggs and insect larvae before these reptiles came along.

The terrapin atop a 'coot's nest'. Picture by John Rice

"This irresponsible and illegal release into the wild has prompted fears for the health of local wildlife, as well as the terrapins themselves who are ill-equipped to survive in the damp British climate."

Any terrapin sightings should be reported to the RSPCA.