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                        The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.
                        Desert Tortoise at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

                        Desert Tortoise

                        Gopherus agassizii

                        Family

                        Testudinidae, the tortoise family.

                        Conservation Status

                        Vulnerable.

                        Distribution

                        North America, Mexico

                        Habitat

                        Dry washes, flats, or hillsides.

                        Factoid

                        These clever reptiles build up most of their fat and water reserves in the spring when the desert is painted with wildflowers, grasses and succulent green plants.

                        The desert tortoise has roamed the desert’s landscape for tens of thousands of years, escaping scorching temperatures in burrows deep underground.

                        These clever reptiles build up most of their fat and water reserves in the spring when the desert is painted with wildflowers, grasses and succulent green plants.

                        Tortoises can completely withdraw their head and limbs into their shell, leaving only the horny scales visible to potential predators.

                        Desert tortoise populations are threatened by raven predation, urbanization, illegal collection for the pet trade, off-highway vehicles, and upper-respiratory tract infections. The Living Desert’s Healthy Desert Education Project, features the Time to Talk Trash campaign, which educates people about how the dramatic rise in raven populations has led to a decrease in tortoise hatchling survival rates.

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