Please note: All non-member Zoo tickets must be pre-purchased online or at the onsite kiosks.
Desert tortoise education resources at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Desert tortoise education resources at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

Desert Tortoise Resources

Let’s talk tortoises

The desert tortoise is a symbol of the California desert and the state’s reptile. Populations were plentiful a few decades ago but tortoise numbers have declined by roughly 50% over the last 30 years, placing the tortoise on the Federal List of Threatened Species. 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 is committed to raising awareness about the threats faced by the desert tortoise and bringing our community members together over simple actions we can each take to help protect this iconic species.

Here we offer information about our Time to Talk Trash campaign, our tortoise rehabilitation program, and various educator resources.

Mojave Maxine Emergence

The 2023/2024 Mojave Maxine Emergence Contest will open on November 1. Stay tuned for more details!

Tortoise Trunks

The Desert Tortoise Information and Youth Education Program offers a variety of ways for educators to teach about desert tortoises in classrooms.

Time to Talk Trash

You can help protect wildlife from ravens by making sure that your trash, and your neighbors', are tightly covered!

Native Wildlife Resources

Knowing what to do when you encounter a tortoise can be difficult, as it will depend on the circumstances surrounding the encounter.  Check out the answers and tips to help you know what to do.

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