An interesting news story caught my eye this week – a group of kids were found playing in a suburban Sydney street with a Red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans). Red-eared sliders are a species of freshwater turtle, native to the Mississippi Valley in the US. Red-eared slider turtles are one of the most popular pets across the U.S and the U.K, although cute as little hatchlings they have a voracious appetite, and often get dumped when they grow out of their cute phase and they spread rampanatly! They are recognized as one of the worlds 100 worst invasive alien species, according to the World Conservation Union; based on their serious threat to global biodiversity. In Australia they are up there with our most feared pest species such as the cane toad, the fox and the rabbit. Categorized as a Class 1 pest in most states means that the importation, possession and sale of the species is prohibited, and there are heavy penalties for individuals who release the species into the natural environment. With confirmed reports of this species in urban and rural environments of QLD, ACT and NSW; and in the wild in VIC and WA, let’s hope we don’t allow this species the chance to become established in our waters. Click here for more information, and some great examples of how to identify the Red-eared slider from our native species of freshwater turtle.
There are apps for monitoring your baby bump, apps that provide check lists to help with "baby brain," apps that provide a list of foods that are pregnancy no-no's.
But there are plenty of other pregnancy apps that can help moms-to-be prepare for pregnancy. Disclaimer: Most pregnancy apps are created just for fun and are not approved or sponsored by medical professionals.
At first glance, the Period Tracker looks more flowery than a tampon commercial, but don't let that put you off. After you enter start and end dates for your period, it then logs and calculates the average period start date over the course of three months to predict the start date for future periods, ovulation days and fertile days -- all of which appear on a month-by-month calendar. The Period Tracker allows users to note moods and symptoms, such as acne, body aches and cramps, by date. The Kindara Fertility app is a little overwhelming, at first, but anyone who is super detail-oriented will love this app. A lot less flowery than other ovulation trackers, Kindara breaks down your menstrual cycle and all those days in between by fluid type and flow, plotting them on a chart over the course of 30 days and noting which days the user is ovulating.
It also lets you keep track of your body temperature -- because your temperature tends to rise a few degrees when you are ovulating -- as well as moods, OPK results, spotting and pain levels so you can talk to your doctor about it at your next visit. The BabyBump Pregnancy app, created by Alt12 Apps, Inc., not only counts down the days left before your due date and what week you are currently in your pregnancy, it also tells you what symptoms you might be feeling and when. For example, the app tells you in Week 18 you might be feeling dizzy and reassures you that is normal.
What made the Sprout app by Med ART studios stand out from other pregnancy apps is that it offers full-screen, 3-D interactives of how the fetus, its organs, limbs and facial features develop from week to week.


Sort of like Cliffs Notes from the "Gray's Anatomy" reproductive section, each slide in the app shows the next stage in fetus' development with three to four buttons per slide that pop up with interesting facts. Similar to other apps, Sprout has a "The Doc Says" tab, which offers a week-by-week explanation of symptoms you are probably experiencing as the fetus grows. For all you organic and eco-friendly -- and expectant -- enthusiasts out there, this app is for you.
Peaceful Nursery app by Spirit Quest World provides a shopping list for an eco-friendly nursery, including suggestions for an organic crib mattress, organic cotton crib sheets and other times. There are several pregnancy apps that include a checklist for what to pack in your hospital bag for when you go into labor. What sets the BabyBag app by Andreas Krawczyk apart is that it lets users create several customized "packlists" for you, your partner, your baby -- heck, even grandma-to-be can have a list. Other apps only offered a checklist for "mommy's bag" or "mommy, daddy and baby's bag." This app gives users a bit more freedom to personalize their lists. My Pregnancy Today app by BabyCenter is one of the most popular pregnancy apps in the Google Play store, with more than one million downloads in the past month.
It is another one of the all-encompassing pregnancy apps, with week-by-week fetal development images, explanations for how your pregnant body will change over time and a due date calculator, to name a few, but the "Check List" is one of the best features of this app. Designated as its own tab, the Check List breaks down week-by-week lists of suggestions for what you could be doing to stay healthy and prepare for labor. The Foods to Avoid When Pregnant app, created by LitCharts, provides full menus of all those foods you are supposed to avoid when expecting and breaks them down into eight main categories: cheese and dairy, dressing and condiments, drinks and beverages, fish and seafood, frozen and prepared foods, meat and eggs, pates and spreads, and vegetables.
From there, the app breaks the categories down even further into different ways those foods are prepared and what pregnant women should and should not eat. There are several apps for both iPhone and Android devices that offer pilates, yoga and other exercise moves specifically tailored to pregnant women -- again, please consult your doctor first -- but many those apps seemed to be on the pricey side. First, the home screen asks users if they want to do a 30-minute workout or a full-body one.
I'm Pregnant by Kolsoft is another all-encompassing app that includes week-by-week explanations of changes in your body and fetal development, a calendar, a weight tracker, a kick counter, packing check lists and a notes, or "diary," section. Say you don't want all the bells and whistles of 3-D images, weight trackers and doctor's appointment reminders, but the big day has arrived and contractions have started. Instead of trying to time your contractions with a wristwatch, consider a contraction timer app. The Contraction Timer app by James Ots looks almost like an app marathoners might use to track their training runs.
The Contraction Monitor app by Maxwell Software is a little more in-depth than most contraction timing apps. Monitoring contraction frequency and time intervals, the Contraction Monitor allows users to rate how intense the contraction is on a scale from "very mild" to "very strong." It then generates a summary of your progress, complete with charts.


Aside from obviously being stereotypical, the m Pregnancy app has some fun features for men with pregnant partners, especially those who might roll their eyes at the idea of reading pregnancy books.
The app, created by Double Dip Media, Inc., shows the fetus' development in increments a man can understand. The app also includes pregnancy facts and tips for dads-to-be, such as foods your partner should avoid when she is pregnant and how to help her prepare for delivery.
5 Things You Don't Expect When You're ExpectingTop 10 Changes in 'What to Expect'Jessica Simpson Reveals Baby's GenderIs Pregnant Kate Middleton Having a Girl? They are known for their distinctively long, sharp claws and the striking red colouring behind their eyes. Sightings can be reported to the National Animal Pest hotline: 1800 084 881, or your local DPI office. A search on the Android app store Google Play and the iPhone App Store produced around 1,000 results. According to the report, on average, 47 percent of total mobile subscribers using one or more health app are using a pregnancy-related app. There is even an app that will morph photos of you and your partner's faces together to show what your baby might look like. It includes 3-D visuals of a mother's changing body as well as the baby's development week-to-week (based on the due date), a check-list of common questions to ask the doctor (based on each pre-natal appointment), a symptoms tracker, a contraction timer, tips for healthy pregnancy and articles targeted to your current trimester. One section, labeled "Eggs, Cooked," says "cooked eggs are safe for pregnant women to eat but under-cooked eggs could be contaminated with salmonella," so pregnant women should avoid runny or soft-boiled eggs. For example, it tells you that a 10-week-old fetus is 1.2 inches long, or about the size of a beer cap. Although they are deceptively cute (and popular) as babies, they take on a whole new role as they morph into adulthood. Luckily, that’s because they haven’t had the chance to wreak the devastating havoc that other introduced pests have in our country – so far. A nasty nature means that Red-eared sliders have the potential to out-compete many of our native freshwater species, like fish, frogs and other turtles, for resources such as food, habitat and nesting sites.  Adults have also been know to prey upon hatchlings of native turtles, and can inflict painful bites to other wildlife.
Another adaptation which enhances the Red-eared sliders role as an invader is its ability to breed like crazy! After each mating, females can lay around 30 fertile eggs per clutch; and continue to lay up to five clutches per year. Add to the mix, the ability of these turtles to spread deadly parasites and diseases among our native species – and you’ve got one perfect pest.



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