Our 49th Annual Symposium is scheduled for February 21-23, 2024 in Las Vegas (virtual attendance available). Call for Papers, Sponsorship and Raffle/Auction Donations forms now available!
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.
Click the link below or go to News > Job Announcements to find out more and view all job announcements.
There is a new source of destruction and degradation in the California Desert, illegal cannabis growing. The damage is severe and widespread. Here we provide a synopsis of the issue and recordings of the special session from the 2023 DTC symposium.
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.
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.
- 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
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. The data you collect using the app will help identify areas where road mortality and/or raven activity may be occurring at high rates (hot-spots) and help inform development of management actions to address these issues.
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.
In early May, an unusual number of dead lagomorphs were reported on a site in the Coachella Valley in Riverside County. At the request of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), a specimen was transported to a lab for necropsy the death was attributed to RHDV-2. Ultimately over fifty dead lagomorphs were found in the area over the course of just a few weeks and in the weeks since, cases have also been reported in San Diego, Orange, and San Bernardino counties.
CDFW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are working to limit transmission and have published guidance.
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.
Conservation Organizations Gathered to Discuss Enhanced Wildlife Protections in the U.S.-Mexico Border States
Last month, some 40 wildlife conservation leaders and specialists representing 22 American and Mexican non-governmental organizations were gathered during the 44th Annual Symposium of the Desert Tortoise Council in Tucson, Arizona to celebrate recent successes and accelerate protection of transboundary wildlife corridors, with a focus on supporting private lands conservation on the U.S.-Mexico border states.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has just released the “Desert Tortoise Annotated Bibliography, 1991 – 2015”, prepared by Dr. Kristin H. Berry and her team. The Desert Tortoise Council funded a grant to the USGS to complete this very important document.
The DTC is very interested in gathering all available hard copy materials that will help us accurately represent the rich history of the Desert Tortoise Council. We are particularly interested in hearing from past board members and officers, and respectfully seek folders and boxes full of archival materials.
This newly-published book by Dr. Scott Abella. Conserving America’s National Parks shares the status of conservation challenges and successes in America’s 408 national parks. The book includes discussions of interactions of the desert tortoise with non-native plants and fire, plus renewable energy, in addition to the overall focus of the book on conserving key habitats.