Every year Connecticut sees its share of non-native reptiles and amphibians that are typically released into the wild by owners that no longer care for them. Often these owners feel releasing exotic pets into the wild is the right and most humane option for their once loved pet. This however, cannot be farther from the truth. Many times these species are not adapted to tolerate the cold Connecticut winter and succumb to freezing temperatures. Others experience deaths brought on by starvation from a lack of suitable food items or the inability to acquire food in the unfamiliar and foreign landscape.
In the rare instance, released species thrive in the Connecticut wilderness, even out competing native species for resources. The “poster child” of invaders is the red-eared slider, a commonly kept pet turtle that is often released when the initial thrill of owning a cute little turtle wears off. Many of these non-native pets pose health risks to native species through the introduction of foreign pathogens leading to a host of diseases native species have no immunity for. PLEASE report any non-native species you observe using the link to the right.
When reporting please include the following information in the message box:
1. Your Name
2. A way to Contact You (Phone # and/or e-mail address)
3. Specimen Location (Town Name, Closest Intersection, GPS Coordinates, State Forest etc.)
4. Any photos of the specimen (cell phone pictures are acceptable)
5. Condition of specimen (Live or Dead).
6. Any other information you feel are important.
The photographs in the gallery below are of various exotic species captured in Connecticut.