The Desert Tortoise Council is pleased to announce the 49th Annual Meeting and Symposium, which will be a hybrid event (both in-person and virtual attendance options) that will be held at the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa in Las Vegas from February 21-23, 2024. A field trip is scheduled the day before the meeting on February 20. The Symposium will include keynote, invited, and featured speakers and contributed papers and posters. The program will be exciting, challenging, and full of new information! We are fortunate in 2024 to have a combined in-person and hybrid symposium in close to three Recovery Units for the desert tortoise and a backdrop of several ongoing research projects. The symposium will be full of papers on desert tortoises, effects of climate change, tortoise demography and connectivity of populations, roads and culverts, and the latest in techniques for surveys, and methods for evaluating anthropogenic effects on habitats. Dr. Katherine Richardson to speak on a critical topic, climate warming. Dr. Richardson is the lead author of a recent team publication, “Earth Beyond Six or Nine Planetary Boundaries” in the journal, Science Advances. Dr. Richardson is from the Globe Institute, Faculty of Health, University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Dr. Kristina Drake, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, is organizing a session on predators of Desert Tortoises (e.g., coyotes) and management issues, and we will have a robust session on health and diseases with three invited speakers. The recent release of head-started Bolson Tortoises in the United States through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Turner Endangered Species Fund is an important milestone too and will be featured. More announcements will be forthcoming early in December! We will share more about plenary speakers soon and the program will be posted on the website 30 days prior to the Symposium.
Program & Abstracts
We have a comprehensive, exciting, and stimulating program composed of 49 presentations and posters for the 49th Desert Tortoise Council Symposium. Click the button below to see a few examples why you should join us for this very special event from February 21-23, 2024.
Annual Business Meeting
The Annual Business Meeting of the Desert Tortoise Council will convene at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada. All Council members and guests are invited to attend the Business Meeting. The Board of Directors will provide a summary of accomplishments over the past year, and report on the financial status of the organization. There will be an election of officers. In addition, the Board of Directors has recommended several revisions to the Bylaws to be voted on by the general membership.
Our 2024 annual symposium will be presented in a hybrid format. When you register, you can choose either in-person or virtual and you are able to switch between the two up until January 15, 2024. All sessions will be livestreamed for the virtual attendees.
*Note: In-person and virtual attendance options are equally priced. Due to the significant technology costs, we are not able to discount the registration fees for virtual attendees. The DTC strives to offer a comprehensive symposium available to all and this also provides flexibility for those who may need to change their plans.
Registration at the symposium will include refreshments during morning and afternoon breaks and a banquet on Friday night. Coffee and tea will be provided all day each day. Note that breakfast and lunch are not included on any day of the symposium so registrants will be responsible for dining at their hotels or for providing their own breakfast and lunch. The hotel has many dining options available. Also, if the symposium sessions extend into Friday afternoon, registrants will be responsible for their own lunches on Friday.
Become a member or renew your membership prior to registering for the symposium for discounts on our annual symposiums.
The host hotel for the 2024 Annual Symposium is the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. The hotel is located at:
9777 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89183
The Desert Tortoise Council has arranged for special room rates at the host hotel between February 19 and 24, 2024. (a limited number of rooms are available on February 19th for field trip participants. If you wish to check in on the 19th, be sure to select that date when you book your room) The room rates are $85 for midweek and $155 for weekend days with an $18 daily resort fee. The cutoff date for the discounted room rates is January 30, 2024, so be sure to make your reservations prior to that date!
The hours of operation for Hotel Reservation Department:
(Monday – Friday) 6:00 am – 11:00 pm PST
(Saturday & Sunday) 7:00 am – 11:00 pm PST
Telephone: (866) 791-7626 (toll free)
Direct: (702) 797-8901
Fax: (702) 797-8905
Please find the reservations button below and reservation contact information. Reservations can be made using the button below or by contacting the Hotel Reservation Department directly and providing the assigned group code of DES0219.
Group: Desert Tortoise Council 49th Annual Symposium
Group Dates: Feb 19- 24, 2024 (a limited number of rooms are available on February 19th for field trip participants)
Group Code: DES0219
Cut Off Date: 1/30/2024
Note: If you check-in at South Point before 3:00 pm on your arrival date, there is an Early Check-in Fee of $25.00.
The closest major airport is Harry Reid International Airport (McCarran Airport) in Las Vegas, Nevada (https://harryreidairport.com/). Rental vehicles are available at the airport and the South Point Hotel offers a scheduled shuttle to and from Harry Reid International Airport. These shuttles are reserved for the use of hotel guests only. If you plan to use the South Point’s Airport Shuttle, please call (866) 791-7626 and ask for Shuttle Reservations as soon as you have your flight information. Same-day reservations are not accepted for the shuttle but if there are unreserved seats, they are filled on a first come, first served basis. Click here for information about the shuttle schedule.
DTC Symposium Field Trip
Desert Tortoise Connectivity in the Ivanpah Valley
February 20, 2024
Trip Leaders: Dr. Kirsten Dutcher, Scott Cambrin, & Peter Woodman
Southern Nevada Environmental, Inc. (SNEI) has generously volunteered to host a pre-conference mixer at the 2024 Annual Symposium. SNEI has hosted this event for many years, and it is the perfect way to kick off the Symposium. The pre-conference mixer will be held at the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa (exact location will be provided) on Tuesday evening, February 20, 2024. Please plan to attend as it is a great time to reconnect with friends, to network with new contacts, and to thank SNEI for their generosity and long-time support of the Desert Tortoise Council.
Wednesday Night Social Mixer
Hoping for Donations
The Desert Tortoise Council is looking for sponsors or donors to help defray the cost of holding a Social Mixer on Wednesday, February 21 after the Symposium sessions have been completed for the day. An evening social was held at the 2023 Symposium, and it was a great success and allowed attendees to not only socialize but also to discuss the interesting talks presented during the day. The Desert Tortoise Council would like to hold a Wednesday night social at the 2024 Symposium, but we can only host it if we get outside donations. Sponsors and donors will be acknowledged in all Symposium materials. To sponsor or donate towards the Wednesday night mixer, will donate to defray the costs of a Wednesday night mixer on February 21 at the South Point Hotel. For additional information on sponsoring or donating to the Wednesday night social mixer, please click the button below to download the sponsorship form.
Sponsors & Partners
Please consider sponsoring the annual Symposium of the Desert Tortoise Council. These one-time donations go directly to defraying the costs of the Annual Symposium. For additional information on sponsorship levels and to download the sponsorship form, please click the button below.
Thank you for your support!
Vendors (Nonprofit or For Profit)
You and/or your organization are invited to apply to exhibit information and sell products at the Symposium. You will be listed in the Symposium program, acknowledged at the Symposium, and included on the Council’s website. The deadline to have your information listed in the Symposium program is January 8, 2024. Space might be limited so your application will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.
Vendor displays should be available to the attendees from noon on Wednesday through noon on Friday. Setup and take-down will be available before and after those times. One six-foot table with 2 chairs and access to an electrical outlet (if requested ahead of time) will be provided. Let us know of any additional needs.
All vendors must be registered (in the appropriate category) to attend the Symposium and those selling items will need to provide an item (or items) totaling at least $50 in value to be auctioned or raffled by the Council. For profit vendors will be charged an additional $100 unless they are organization members or symposium sponsors. Nonprofit vendors will not have an additional charge if they are selling merchandise.
For additional information about participating in the Symposium as a vendor or non-profit sponsor, please click the button below.
Thank you for your support!
Annual Photo Contest
Each year we encourage our membership to submit their best wildlife and nature photographs for a chance to win cash prizes, as well as to aid the Desert Tortoise Council in educating the public and advocating desert conservation through photography.
The Awards Committee is responsible for recognizing individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the conservation and/or knowledge of desert tortoises and their habitat, or to achieving the goal and objectives of the Desert Tortoise Council. We consider several awards at our annual symposia.
Call for Awards
Symposium Raffle & Auction
The symposium will include various types of raffles and an auction as a fundraiser so the Council can continue to expand its conservation efforts for the tortoise. The raffle is only open to those who register for the Symposium. With the hybrid nature of the 2024 symposium, the Council will be holding both in-person and online raffles during the symposium, so all registrants can have the opportunity to win great prizes. Raffle tickets for in-person registrants can be purchased at the Symposium venue. For virtual participants, a link to purchase raffle tickets for E-Gift card prizes will be provided.
Health & Wellness Protocol
The Desert Tortoise Council would like to ensure that all persons attending the Symposium “in person” are safe and well. The infection rates for Covid (including the new BN.1 variant), influenza, and other infectious diseases (e.g., respiratory syncytial virus – RSV) are increasing this winter. Consequently, we are implementing the following protocol when you are in the Dixie Convention Center.
- If you feel ill, have recently tested positive for Covid, or have symptom(s) of Covid, influenza, RSV infection, or another infectious disease, please do not attend the symposium in person and please follow the CDC COVID isolation procedures until you are no longer infectious. If you are unable to attend the symposium because you test positive, you can switch between in-person and virtual participation. If you are unable to attend virtually, cancel your registration and request a refund of the registration fee.
- For the safety of all attendees, please wear a mask (preferable KN95) and when possible, practice social distancing. The exception to wearing a mask would be when presenting your talk, eating, or drinking. The Council will have masks and hand sanitizer available.
More Info Coming!
Info on this year’s field trip, photo contest and more coming soon.
Past Proceedings & Abstracts
Click below to download symposium abstracts from all previous years.