NYTTS Meetings from Fall 2012 to Spring 2013 Return to NYTTS Home Page

Annual Turtle and Tortoise Show

Village Community School, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Held Saturday, June 22, 2013 — Winners and photos online soon.

Annual NYTTS Seminar

Was held on Saturday, March 9, 2013, 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.,
Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, 5th Avenue at 64th Street, New York City

NYTTS presented Russell Burke (Hoftstra University), Jack Rudloe (author of Time of the Turtle), and Peter Pritchard (Chelonian Research Institute). See detailed information.

Past Meetings

Firoz with a critically endangered black soft-shelled turtle in Kaziranga National Park in Assam
“Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of Northeast India: Can Communities Save them from Extinction?” and “Tigers and Prey Animals: Their Conservation in a Human-Dominated Landscape”

M. Firoz Ahmed, Guwahati, Assam, India

Senior Wildlife Biologist & Environmental Educator with Aaranyak, an NGO for Biodiversity Conservation in Northeast India

Held Sunday, February 10, Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, NYC

Firoz Ahmed received his M.Sc. in zoology, specializing in ecology and wildlife biology, from Guwahati University, Assam, in 1999; and his Ph.D. from the Utkal University, Orissa, in 2010. He has been involved in several research and education projects at Aaranyak, the principal NGO for Biodiversity Conservation in northeast India, since 1994.

Firoz started his amphibian research in 1997. He has discovered several new species of frogs in the forests of northeast India and has described four to date. He is also involved in community-based conservation in northeast India and has coordinated a number of community conservation projects. He is team leader for Aaranyak's Tiger Research Conservation Initiative, organized to strengthen research and conservation of tigers, prey animals and habitats in the region. He is the senior author of Amphibians and Reptiles of Northeast India: A Photographic Guide, published by Aaranyak.

Community-Based Turtle Conservation.  One decade after receiving hands-on training in turtle research and conservation through the NYTTS-sponsored Asian Scholarship Program at the Wetlands Institute, he has returned to the USA to report on his extensive turtle research in the poorly explored forests and wetlands in northeast India. The region is considered a hotspot of tortoise and freshwater turtle diversity with 21 of the 29 species known to occur in all of India. The primary habitats of the most of the turtle species in the region, particularly the river valleys, have either been lost or are under severe threat from anthropogenic pressure for land or other natural resources. This has pushed most (15 of 21) of the species toward extinction, as many communities

Firoz photographed this male tiger taking a dip in the core of Kaziranga National Park.
consume turtle meat for festivals or for traditional medicine. Local laws are insufficient to contain the loss of wetlands and forests for these species. It is the communities living the region that hold the key to the long-term conservation of these species.

Tiger and Prey Animal Conservation.  Firoz will also describe conservation success at Kaziranga National Park in Assam and its amazing tiger and prey animal density. Kaziranga is famous for the Indian one-horned rhino and its population of over 2,200 individuals. The stringent protection measures in the park have given tigers and other animals the opportunity to flourish under the shadow of the rhino's protection. In addition to Kaziranga, several other protected areas are also offering similar conservation opportunities. Increasing human population, immigration from Bangladesh and Nepal, and social unrest are suffocating this forested wonderland, while a group of a few young conservationists both within and outside government programs are fighting to strengthen the foundations of conservation.

Pete is pictured with a snapping turtle during a demonstration for a NYC high school class at the Alley Pond Environmental Center, Flushing, NY.
“Turtle Ecology USA, North vs. South” by Pete Warny, Ecologist, New York City
Held January 20, 2013, Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, NYC

Peter Warny, a former ecologist with the Nature Conservancy and National Audubon Society, travels extensively across America, focusing on wetlands habitats and documenting changes in the food webs composed of aquatic insects, fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

Pete discussed his cross country road trips to various turtle ecology and conservation projects, and field surveysc. This recent updated excursion included coastal Louisiana bayous (a year after the infamous offshore oil blowout) as well as the Texas roadkill massacre and other roadkill areas. These “tough times for turtles” was contrasted with such conservation efforts as creating new wetlands, protecting nest sites, and monitoring turtle populations for future planning.

After the meeting people were invited to visit Pete's Midtown East Side “eco-art and nature” loft, which includes a special turtle room of exotic species.

Pete announced another “Turtles of Central Park” urban safari walk to be scheduled in May. If you are in the New York area, this is an extraordinary urban field trip not to be missed! See a slide show of the May 2012 turtle safari. Watch this site for an announcement of the next turtle safari in May, coming in May, led by Pete Warny. Plan to bring your cameras!

“Observations of the Yellow-margined Box Turtle (Cuora flavomarginata)
in Taiwan and Captive Husbandry” by Ray Farrell

Held Sunday, December 2, Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, NYC

Herpetologist and turtle ecologist Ray Farrell has spoken numerous times at past NYTTS meetings. He has specialized in the ecology of endangered and threatened turtles of the Northeast, including bog turtles and wood turtles. In addition, his work with Chinese (yellow-margined) box turtles (C. flavomarginata) has spanned many years.

     Pictured right: Ray Farrell with NYTTS President Suzanne Dohm. Photo by Alex Ypsilanti

The October 14 Meeting:
“A Tour of the Galápagos”

Suzanne Dohm

Sunday, October 14, in the Arsenal Gallery, Central Park

Suzanne Dohm toured the Galápagos Islands in July 2012. Right: a memorial plaque dedicated to Lonesome George, the last of his species. Click image to expand to full size.

NYTTS Meetings in Central Park

Meetings are held in the third-floor Gallery in the Arsenal building in Central Park. The Arsenal is located on 5th Avenue at 64th Street in front of the Central Park Zoo (see directions). Enter below the main stairs in the front of the building. Take the elevator to the third-floor Gallery.

Right: Typical NYTTS meeting in the Arsenal Gallery. Photo by Anita Salzberg

Review previous meetings in 2011–2012.