Hibernation (reptiles technically brumate) is a torpid period for the Red Ear Slider that occurs during the winter months. It is not necessary to allow captive RES to hibernate and is not recommended. You should never force a slider into hibernation. When your turtles are kept indoors year-round, there is probably nothing to change. If you keep your RES outdoors, you will need to bring them inside if your area experiences cold winters or temperatures.
Allowing your slider(s) to hibernate is dangerous for several reasons.
RES have been found hibernating in unusual places. For instance, they have been found under hollow logs and stumps. It is not exactly known if they are hibernating or in a semi-torpid state, however they are using more energy and cannot stay in this dormancy for periods as long as normal underwater hibernation. They are also more vulnerable to predators or temperature changes.
The information presented is considered general since we do not recommend natural or artificial (e.g., induced or forced) hibernation. If you do believe you have the proper conditions, please contact a local reptile or herp organization for more information and experiences on captive sliders in your region.
Tortoise Reserve - The Complexities of Turtle Hibernation
Anapsid - Hibernation Guidelines for Turtles and Tortoises
Austins Turtle Page - Hibernation
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This page updated: 2011/01/28 Copyright © 2005-2011 Red Ear Slider. All rights reserved.