Sliders, Sliders, Everywhere!

Turtles (mostly red-eared sliders) bask in a pool at Shitennō-ji, a Buddhist temple in Osaka, Japan.
Photo by Matthew Lu
(Click photo to enlarge.)

Releasing Sliders Is Against the Law
     Release of unwanted pets in parks, ponds, and woodlands is illegal in New York State and many other states. Red-eared sliders are not native to New York or any of the surrounding states, and their release in New York waters is prohibited. The same is true for neighboring states. These laws seek to protect native wildlife from the negative impacts of introduced species.

     Most species of turtles and tortoises are unable to tolerate environmental conditions that differ from those of their native lands, and this greatly limits their ability to colonize alien habitats. However, this has not been the case with red-eared sliders. They are a very hardy and adaptable species, and released individuals may survive for extended periods, perhaps many years, and may even establish populations with breeding potential in some areas. These highly resilient turtles have already pushed out native species in Europe and elsewhere around the world, where they are now considered an invasive pest species. Releasing them threatens existing populations of our region’s native turtle species, which are forced to compete with this more aggressive species for scarce food resources. They can also spread disease to the native wildlife.

NYTTS Slider Adoption Policy
     Unfortunately, NYTTS is no longer able to accept unwanted red-eared sliders for adoption. The high numbers of these turtles that have come our way in recent years have completely overwhelmed our ability to find homes or placements for them. We have received many thousands of slider turtles, and there simply aren't enough resources or space for us to accommodate them, even on a temporary basis.

     However, we are always happy to assist with proper care information and husbandry tips that will make it much easier to maintain your sliders. If you would like to learn more about keeping your sliders, or are able to give a good home to an unwanted or displaced red-ear, please email Also consider joining NYTTS and attending meetings and other events (you can join online with credit card or by mail).

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