First successful reproduction of the Chinese striped-necked turtle Mauremys sinensis (Gray, 1834) in a European wetland.
Alien species are considered one of the main threats to biodiversity, and amongst them turtles are the most traded taxon worldwide. We are reporting observations on the Chinese striped-necked turtle (Mauremys sinensis Gray, 1834) and particularly the first evidence of reproduction in a European wetland. During an eradication project of non-native turtles, underway since 2019, we observed a hatchling of Mauremys sinensis in the Torre Flavia wetland (Tyrrhenyan coast of Central Italy). This finding suggests the naturalization of the local population, requiring increased attention since the disturbance by M. sinensis adds to that of the invasive population of Trachemys scripta in the study area. In the absence of control and management on introduced nuclei, this situation can lead to a widespread naturalization of M. sinensis, with detrimental and irreversible impacts on endangered native taxa such as Emys orbicularis.