One of the most plentiful, yet mistaken is the yellow-pond slider turtle.
Because of their pointed snout, some believe they are alligator turtles. Alligator turtles snap aggressively and have those “stay away” vibrant-color alarms that nature provides. These reptiles’ bright-yellow undersides and are a beautiful example of how beautiful our local wildlife is.
Yellow-Bellied Pond Sliders are native to the Lowcountry and a vital component of our local ecosystem.
These turtles mainly eat plants, controlling the algae which blooms and grows on the ponds within the Forest Preserve. Yellow-Bellied Pond Sliders also provide a key source of protein for alligators. Turtles are not the gator’s main source of food. They do provide a consistent source of protein for these apex predators. Still, turtles and alligators can often be seen basking in the sun together or sharing a log, particularly when temperatures are cooler and sunning is vital for both reptiles to survive.
Capable of living up to 30 years in the wild, Yellow-Bellied Pond Sliders consistently lay eggs throughout the year.
This activity allows them to sustain a strong local population which is fundamental to the survival and health of the ecosystem. These turtles are numerous throughout the Sea Pines Forest Preserve and tour patrons stand a very good chance of observing them in their natural environment.
Together, with all the animals that call Daufuskie Island home, Yellow-Bellied Pond Slider Turtles are a just another piece of our enchanting ecosystem and one of many organisms that make our Island unique.
By Anthony R. Savarese, Reel Carolina
H2O Sports in Harbour Town is a great place to spark curiosity and inspire learning through adventure for all ages. For details on other water activities offered by H2O Sports, visit h2osports.com.