The New York Turtle and Tortoise Society, Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the conservation, preservation of habitat, and the promotion of proper husbandry and captive propagation of turtles and tortoises. The Society emphasizes the education of its members and the public in all areas relevant to the appreciation of these unique animals. Donations to the Society are tax deductible and can be made online with your credit card by clicking the Donate button, or by sending a check payable to
NYTTS, to NYTTS Donations, 1214 W. Boston Post Road, Box 267, Mamaroneck, NY 10543.
Next NYTTS Meeting Annual NYTTS Seminar Saturday, October 24, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Beczak Environmental Education Center
35 Alexander St, Yonkers, NY 10701
More information to follow soon.
Show Winners and photos of the 2015 Turtle and Tortoise Show Now online here
Up to Our Ears in Red-Ears!
It is no exaggeration to say that the recent news and social media report of the seizure of 652 red-eared sliders went viral. The shipment was seized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and turned over to our own NYTTS Wildlife Rehabilitator Lorri Cramer. Lorri addresses the issue in this video by Anita Salzberg.
Lorri Cramer addresses the issue of 652 hatchling red-eared sliders.
(Click triangle arrow to start video; click up arrow in the control bar to expand to full screen.)
Compassionate Release of Hatchling Turtles
The NYTTS Rehabilitation Program, directed by Lorri Cramer, is very excited to continue its collaboration with local Buddhist leaders to encourage the New Compassionate Release Life Practice and to support humane and environmentally friendly practices toward turtles and other animals. Slowly this project, which started in 2011 (see Environmentally Friendly Buddhist Release Practices by Lorri Cramer), is increasing in participation and scope.
On Saturday October 11, five NYTTS membersChristopher, Lauren and Ed Cho; Abby, Lorri and Mitch Cramer; Suzanne Dohm; and Jim Van Abbemaattended a sacred Buddhist Compassionate Release Life ceremony at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. During the ceremony hatchling diamondback terrapins that had been saved from predation were blessed and then released into the wild. Because of rain, the blessing took place inside the Visitor Center where we were quite comfortable.
The day started in the classroom with Dr. Russell Burke who gave a PowerPoint presentation, which highlighted his work to help the diamondbacks of Jamaica Bay and the problems they are facing.
The blessing was held in the atrium of the Visitor Center where the Venerable Jing Yi, Abbess of Grace Gratitude Buddhist Temple, formed a prayer circle with the congregants, facing the large windows that looked out onto the wetlands. The tiny turtles were placed in a small container at the center while Ven. Jing Yi and the other congregants led the Compassionate Release Life prayers and chants. (Photo: Mitch Cramer)
While only six baby diamondbacks were being released, Ven. Jing Yi said that the blessings were also for all the other animals in the Wildlife Refuge.
After the ceremony, the rain stopped and we all streamed into the refuge to celebrate the release of the tiny turtles. Cameras clicked away as one by one each hatchling was released, each carrying the blessing and good wishes for a long and healthy life.
Lorri Cramer [NYTTS Director of Turtle Rehabilitation and Curriculum Development] has been building good turtle karma for a long time. So begins an article explaining how Lorri developed her expertise rehabilitating turtles over some 33 yearsover 1,000 for NYTTS. A recurring problem Lorri encountered was that numbers of turtles were being released in inappropriate places, many times jeopardizing their survival. The releases were traced to Chinese Buddhist Life Release ceremonies. After numerous letters to temples, Lorri eventually made successful contact with a respected member of the New York Chinese Buddhist community. Read how Lorri and a Buddhist temple in Chinatown have joined forces to help solve the problem. See Building Good Karma: The Buddhist Ceremony of Releasing Turtles. See also Environmentally Friendly Buddhist Release Practices, an article for NYTTS by Lorri Cramer in 2012.
Excellent Advice from Barbara Daddario
on Turtles and Tortloises as Pets
Our own Barbara Daddario, Chair of the NYTTS Public Education and Information Committee, was recently interviewed by VetSteeet.com (a Web site devoted to advice for pet owners, finding veterinary care, and pet news). Read Barbaras advice in Tempted to Get a Pet Turtle or Tortoise? Read This First, by Linda Lombardi, March 27, 2014.
Photo by Frank Indiviglio
Frank Indiviglio Presentation
Sunday, February 9, 2014, the Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, New York City
Veteran Zoo Keeper Frank Indiviglio gave a talk on Large, Rare, and Unusual Species of Turtles in Captivity, relating many of his experiences as a keeper at the Bronx Zoo and the Staten Island Zoo.
Franks frequent charge is his six-year-old nephew, Haiden, who often accompanies him on field trips. Haiden is well on his way to becoming a herpetologist.
Frank with giant mata-mata
That Reptile Blog by Frank Indiviglio
Frank Indiviglio, former Staten Island Zoo and Bronx Zoo keeper, and long-time friend of NYTTS, writes numerous articles for That Pet Place, especially for That Reptile Blog as well as others.
Populations worldwide are in serious decline. NYTTS salutes
Dr. Kerry Kriger and Save the Frogs for its vital conservation work. Special Book Offering from NYTTS:
Amphibians and Reptiles of Northeast India: A Photographic Guide
by M. Firoz Ahmed, Abhijit Das, and S.K. Dutta
Firoz Ahmed, who spoke at the NYTTS meeting on February 10, 2013, has made his excellent field guide available for $18 postpaid. He continues his research on reptiles and amphibians in the region, and all proceeds from the book will be allocated for the next edition of the guide.
Please allow several weeks for our shipment to arrive from India. Go to order form.
Preview sample inside pages. Click images to enlarge.
Order Online! NYTTS bumper stickers and turtle food (Turtle Brittle and AquaMax) can now be ordered online. Payment by credit card through PayPal, or by check. Go to the NYTTS Online Order Form. T-shirts coming soon!
Notice to New York City Residents
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation now has a 24-hour tips line to report violations of protected species regulations. It is prohibited to sell any New York State species of reptiles and amphibians. If you see any New York species for sale in pet shops or markets, please call 1-800-847-7332. Report the name and address of the business, and the animals you observed for sale.
Unfortunately, we no longer have local homes for these turtles because of the high numbers that have come to us in recent years. We sometimes have members with ponds who may offer to take in displaced sliders. We do not accept postings by individuals for adoptions of any species. All adoptions are handled through official NYTTS channels, and notices will be emailed to members at the discretion of our Board. Those members wishing to place turtles or to be considered as prospective adopters of sliders and other species should email QandA@nytts.org with their contact information and the species they are interested in placing or adopting. Photos of their turtle/tortoise habitats and accommodations should be provided. Photos of turtles to be placed should also be provided.
Urban Wildlife Appreciation Day 2014 NYTTS Displays Turtles for fifth year, Saturday, May 4. 2014. See slides of this event and previous years.
Seminar 2014 The 29th NYTTS Annual Seminar, was held in the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, New York City, on Saturday, May 17, 2014. Featured speakers included Bronx Zoo Curator of Herpetology Don Boyer, Smithsonian Instutute paleontologist Tyler Lyson, Chelonian Research Institute director Peter C.H. Pritchard, and Chief Bronx Zoo veterinarian Bonnie Raphael. See photos from this meeting and review speakers and presentations.
Josephine Arnold, a long-time member and familiar face at the Annual Turtle and Tortoise Shows, passed away suddenly on Sunday, April 14, 2013. See memorial page.
Alex Ypsilanti, long-time member and NYTTS Board member, passed away after a long and brave battle with cancer on Saturday, April 6, 2013. See memorial page.
NYTTS Joins Buddhist Leaders to encourage humane and environmentally friendly practices The NYTTS Rehabilitation Program is collaborating with local Buddhist leaders to encourage the New Compassionate Release Life Practice and to support humane and environmentally friendly practices toward turtles and other animals. See Environmentally Friendly Buddhist Release Practices by Lorri Cramer, Director, NYTTS Turtle Rehabilitation Program (July 2012).
In Memory of Don Riemer Long-time friend of NYTTS and contributing author to its publications in the 1980s and 90s, Donald N. Riemer, 78, died of cardiac arrest on June 13, 2012. He was a professor at Rutgers University where he conducted research and taught courses related to aquatic plants. See memorial and obituary.
Fish and Turtle Rescue in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, March 2012 For a second time NYTTS members particpated in the Fish and Rescue project in Prospect Park. See description and photo slide show.
Seminar 2012 the 27th NYTTS Annual Seminar, was held in the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, New York City, on March 10, 2012. Featured speakers included naturalist-artist David M. Carroll, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Bog Turtle Recovery Program Coordinator Alison Whitlock, and Chelonian Institute Director Peter C.H. Pritchard. See photos from this meeting and review speakers and presentations.
Snapper Found in February (20120 Frank Indiviglio and his 4-year-old nephew Haiden discovered a large snapping turtle in Alpine, New Jersey, in February. See Snapper Active in February.
Bern Tryon, Well-known Bog Turtle Scientist, Dies May 6, 2011 See obituaries.
Urban Wildlife Apprciation Day 2011 On Saturday, April 7, 2011, NYTTS participated for the second year in the New York City Urban Wildlife Appreciation Day, held on the Cloisters Lawn in Fort Tryon Park. See slide show of the event.
Papa Tortuga at NYTTS On February 13, 2011, Fernando, affectionately known as Papa Tortuga (Father Turtle), and his team from the Tecolutla Turtle Preservation Project, presented a documentary and lecture on Fernandos many years of work protecting nests and hatchlings. See more of Papa Tortuga at NYTTS.
Remembering JoAnn Vacchiano Longtime NYTTS member and devoted turtle person JoAnn Vachiano passed away on January 20, 2011. See photo and remembrances.
In Memoriam: John Thorbjarnarson, well-known Wildlife Conservation Society herpetologist, died of malaria in India on February 14, 2010. See A Life in Conservation by Chuck Schaffer.
Fish and Turtle Rescue in Propect Park In November 2009, NYTTS volunteers joined the Natural Resounces Crew in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, in their fish and turtle rescue project while a small portion of the northeast end of Prospect Park Lake was drained by the Parks Department in preparation for reconstruction of the shoreline. See more information and slides of that effort.
The Asian Turtle Crisis: An Update Two videos taken 13 years apart show that little changed in the markets in Guangzhou, China, from 1997 to 2009. Compare the videos.
Clarifying Regulations in New York State for all Native Species: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation now requires a permit to keep any species of reptile and amphibian native to New York State. This includes all twelve species of New York turtles. The mechanism by which owners of New York turtles may acquire permits is being investigated. Read and download an overview of the new regulations.
Membership in the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society is open to all interested persons for an annual fee of $25. Your membership helps support the Societys activities and programs, including Rescue/Rehab and Public Education, as well as meetings and lectures. Go to Membership Registration Form.
Donations to the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society are tax deductible and can be made online with your credit card by clicking the Donate button, or by sending a check payable to NYTTS, to NYTTS Donations, 1214 W. Boston Post Road, Box 267, Mamaroneck, NY 10543.
NYTTS Mailing List. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please submit your e-mail address. Those who subsribed to the NYTTS Yahoo Group have been added to the main NYTTS Mailing List. If you wish to remove your address from our list, please write Webmaster.
Questions? Send your inquiries to the appropriate committee chair:
General Information Turtle husbandry and health care, adoptions, NYTTS activities and general information. If you have a turtle-related question, inquire online here.
Public Education and Information Chair Barbara Daddario
Public education programs and outreach events
Director of Turtle Rehabilitation and Curriculum Development Lorri Cramer
Wild turtle rehab, injured, and sick turtles
Memberships and Sales Allen Foust
Membership inquiries and member records; turtle food and bumper stickers
Programs and Meetings Matt Hybel
Speaker acquisition and scheduling