About the DTC
The Desert Tortoise Council was established in 1975 to promote conservation of the desert tortoise in the deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico. The Council is a non-profit organization comprised of hundreds of professionals and laypersons who share a common concern for desert tortoises in the wild and a commitment to advancing the public’s understanding of the species. Click the button below to learn more about what we do and what you can do to help!
About Desert Tortoises
The desert tortoise species are native inhabitants of several southwestern ecosystems, including the Sonoran, Colorado, and Mojave Deserts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, and tropical deciduous forests and thornscrub in northwestern Mexico. These tortoises are long-lived reptiles, as important to their ecosystems as their own environments are to them. Though the desert tortoises are well-adapted to their environments, it’s becoming increasingly clear that they’re unable to cope with the fast-paced and increasingly widespread and intensive changes humans have wrought on southwestern ecosystems in recent decades. Click the button below to learn more and watch a documentary about the plight of the desert tortoise.
Grant funding is available to researchers for appropriate projects benefiting the conservation of desert tortoises. Awards are presented in support of research that contributes to the understanding, management and conservation of tortoises of the genus Gopherus in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Funding is available to students working with North American Gopherus tortoises for assistance with their travel costs to attend and participate at future Desert Tortoise Council Symposia.
Donate to the DTC
Donate online via our Wild Apricot portal or mail in your donation to the DTC!
New Board Meeting Minutes for 2023
The Board of Directors meets a minimum of three times per year to review, conduct, and implement Council business. Our Board meetings are open to the general Council membership.
New Job Announcement
Click the link above or go to News > Job Announcements to find out more and view all job announcements.
Drink Beer Save Tortoises Fundraiser
Join us May 20, in Redlands, Ca, for this super-fun fundraiser!
Our 2023 hybrid event (in-person/virtual) symposium in Saint George, Utah, was another great success! Our 49th Annual Symposium is scheduled for February 21-23, 2024
RFP: Innovations for Improvement/Restoration of Desert Tortoise Habitat
The Desert Tortoise Council announces a request for proposals (RFP) for research projects targeted at developing innovations or methods designed to improve desert tortoise habitat restoration techniques. An award of $9,000 is available for the research project.
DTC Newsletter – Volume 46, Issue 2
The Desert’s Growing Problem: Illegal Cannabis Grow Farms; Linda Allison: A Powerful Legacy; Desert Tortoise Council Attends 2022 Symposium on Conservation and Biology for Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles; Update on Petition to List the Mojave Desert Tortoise as Endangered Under the California Endangered Species Act; and more…
Help Collect Important Data Regarding Tortoise and Raven Observations Using the ROaDS App
Help collect data needed to monitor road mortality for desert tortoises and other Mojave Desert species, raven activity, and any observations of tortoises or their carcasses you may observe in the wild while you’re out exploring and hiking.
12-Month Finding for the Sonoran Desert Tortoise
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that federal listing under the Endangered Species Act is not warranted for the Sonoran Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafki) at this time.
First Known Cases of RHDV-2 Found in California
Since March 2020, Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Serotype 2 (RHDV-2) has been spreading through wild and domestic lagomorphs in the western U.S. and Mexico, causing large mortality events. RHDV2 is highly contagious and is extremely persistent in the environment.
New Publication – Mojave Desert Tortoise, Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise
A new, comprehensive account of Agassiz’s desert tortoise by Kristin H. Berry and Robert W. Murphy has been published by the Chelonian Research Foundation and Turtle Conservancy in association with the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Global Wildlife Conservation, Turtle Conservation Fund, and International Union for Conservation of Nature / Species Survival Commission.
Desert Tortoise Annotated Bibliography
In 2015, the Desert Tortoise Council funded a grant to the USGS to complete this very important document. The “Desert Tortoise Annotated Bibliography, 1991 – 2015” is now available!