Course Details

We expect registration for the Health Assessment Training Course to begin in early February 2017.

NOTE: We are using the Wild Apricot registration system, please follow their directions closely to register and pay. You will get a personal login and password that you can use to check your registration and confirmations after you register and pay; this is a two-step process.

Our email contact for this course is:

Health Assessment Procedures for Translocations of the Mojave Desert Tortoise is a four-day advanced course only open to those with extensive tortoise handling experience. Applicants need to have been permitted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to handle desert tortoises on at least one project within the last 5 years as an Authorized Biologist (Biological Opinions or Habitat Conservation Plans) or as an Authorized Individual (listed on a Recovery Permit). Individuals with experience limited to the Range-Wide Monitoring Program need to have completed that training program in 2009 or more recently and walked transects for a minimum of two months.

It is highly recommended that you register for this class only if you will have the immediate opportunity to conduct health assessments and collect samples following successful course completion and permitting. Many students can expect to need additional supervised practice of some skills following the course. Additionally, implementation of required recertification in the future can be expected.

Cost: $2,000.00

Class size is limited. If you are interested in and qualified for this advanced training course, please register as soon as possible.

Content of Course

This course prepares students to conduct the standardized health assessments that are required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prior to and following the translocation of Mojave desert tortoises from project sites. Information is presented through lectures and specialized hands-on training using live desert tortoises. Students’ understanding of the concepts taught in the course and ability to conduct health assessments and collect biological samples will be evaluated by course instructors. Evaluation will include a written exam and practical exam. During the practical exam students will be evaluated on the following seven skills: Handling, Biosecurity, Physical Exam/Body Condition Scoring, Oral Swab, Subcarapacial Venipuncture, Epicoelomic Fluid Administration, and Sample Processing.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • Cancellations must be received three weeks prior to the course for a refund minus a $20.00 handling fee.
  • Email to is sufficient to request cancellation.