Desert tortoise

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, the term "desert tortoise" includes the species complex in the southwestern United States and in Mexico, currently referred to as Gopherus agassizii, Gopherus evgoodei, and Gopherus morafkai.


Announcing the 2017 DTC Annual Business Meeting on 24 February:  For more information, click Board Announcements to visit the DTC Board Announcments page.

Announcing the 2017 Symposium Field Trip on 23 February: Piute Valley & Nearby Tortoise Populations with biologist Dr. Kristina Drake and research ecologist Dr. Todd Esque. For more details and registration information, click Field Trip to visit the Symposium home page.

Announcing the tentative dates for the 2017 Mojave Tortoise Course: The dates for the next Mojave Tortoise Course are November 4–5, 2017. An announcement will be finalized in June 2017. If you have questions about the next Course, email Maggie Fusari at

Announcing the Glenn R. Stewart Student Travel Fund: Click G. R. Stewart Student Travel Fund for details about the Fund and a link to the interactive application form. The deadline for submission of the application form is November 18, 2016.

Announcing the Call for Papers and Posters for the 2017 Symposium: Click Call for Papers to download the interactive document. The deadline for submission of the application form is December 1, 2016.

Announcing the opening of registration for the 42nd Annual Symposium: Click Symposium home page for event details. Click Register now to visit the DTC‘s Wild Apricot registration portal and register for the Symposium online. You may also register by postal mail using our printable registration form available for download on this web site.

Authorized Biologist Training Postponed until Spring 2017 Due to extenuating circumstances, the Desert Tortoise Council must postpone the Authorized Biologist Training that was scheduled for October 2016. The Council wishes to provide the best possible training in conjunction with our Agency partners and that cannot happen in the short time available between now and October 11. The Training will be rescheduled for the Spring of 2017. Course dates will be announced early in 2017. Applicants who have already submitted their information will maintain their “current position” for acceptance so long as the basic requirements are met. The Council will send out revised dates for the Training around the first of the year. Our apologies for the delay in offering this Training.

Announcing the 2017 David J. Morafka Award: See the Morafka Award home page for announcement details and the award application procedure.

Mark your calendars! Dates for the 2018 DTC Symposia are now confirmed: the dates for the 2018 Symposium are February 23-25 at Sam's Town Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

Desert Tortoise Annotated Bibliography, 1991 - 2015 is now available: The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has just released the "Desert Tortoise Annotated Bibliography, 1991 - 2015", (Open File Report 2016 - 1023) prepared by Dr. Kristin H. Berry and her team (Lisa M. Lyren, Jeremy S. Mack, L. Arriana Brand, and Dustin Wood). In the summer of 2015, the Desert Tortoise Council funded a grant to the USGS to complete this very important document. Click Annotated Bibliography to view this valuable resource.

Last updated  14-Jan-2017