Working to assure the continued survival of viable populations of the desert tortoise throughout its range


Who We Are

DTC 40th Anniversary logo

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. For the purposes of the Council, desert tortoise includes the species complex in the southwestern United States and in Mexico, currently referred to as Gopherus agassizii and Gopherus morafkai.

What We Do

The Council promotes conservation of the desert tortoise in the wild in a variety of ways.

  •  We hold an annual Symposium in the spring of each year to bring together scientists, managers, and concerned people to share the latest information available on the desert tortoise and its management.
  •  We hold an annual techniques Workshop to help field workers and others learn how to comply with procedures needed to protect the desert tortoise.
  •  We provide educational grants and recognition to those working in desert tortoise conservation. Each year we give the David J. Morafka Memorial Research Award and the Best Student Paper Award at the Desert Tortoise Council Annual Meeting and Symposium.
  •  We provide information to individuals, organizations and regulatory agencies on matters potentially affecting desert tortoise science, conservation and management within the historical range of the species.
  •  We produce a quarterly newsletter to keep our membership informed.
  •  To learn more about the Council online, read our bylaws and quarterly newsletter.

Job Openings

(posted 22 July 2015)

Riverside, CA (June 2015): The Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc., a non-profit land trust and conservation organization, seeks a Preserve Manager/Conservation Coordinator. This full-time position is focused on recovery of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and the habitats it occupies at protected areas and preserves in California. The position requires an understanding of desert ecology, recovery of threatened and endangered species, habitat restoration, land management and planning. The position involves stewardship activities such as designing and implementing science-based restoration and conservation measures for habitat; supervising a Naturalist and volunteers; supporting land acquisition and mitigation personnel; public outreach and education programs; attending and participating in public, private, and government meetings pertaining to land-use, tortoises, and Mohave ground squirrels; fund raising and grant writing; and office administration. The position requires a master’s degree in an environmental science or similar, a highly motivated individual with excellent verbal and written communication skills, and competence in handling multiple tasks. ArcGIS proficiency is essential. Highly desirable is a science or natural resource background and ability to design and implement science-based studies and to prepare reports for distribution or publication. The person in this position reports to a supervisor assigned by the Board of Directors.

For additional details on this position, please click DTPC Preserve Manager. To submit a letter of interest, resumé, references, and pdf of transcripts, please e-mail to