Who We Are
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 private, 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 publish the proceedings.
- 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.