San Diego’s last native freshwater turtle is in hot water. Here’s what you can do.

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The southern western pond turtle, San Diego’s only native freshwater turtle, is becoming rarer and rarer in coastal Southern California.

These pond turtles are competing against other recently introduced animals such as bullfrogs and largemouth bass, and especially released pets such as other turtles.

Do NOT release pet turtles, or any other type of pet, into the wild as they often eat the smaller southern western pond turtle’s natural food and even their hatchlings, said Ms. Mallory Lindsay of Ms. Mallory Adventures.

Other non-native turtle species can be found in the region such as snapping turtles, softshell turtles, and red-eared sliders.

Southern western pond turtles are normally found in pools inside of natural streams and sloughs and are medium-sized, being seven to nine inches long.

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