Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

Desert Tortoise Recovery

Due to appreciable declines of tortoise populations across the range, in conjunction with multi-faceted interacting threats, population augmentation is another tool for conservation of the Mojave desert tortoise. Translocation (the movement of an animal from location to another) can be used to augment or re-establish locally depleted or extirpated populations in conjunction with elevated threat management and/or habitat restoration or directed research on the factors affecting success. Population augmentation in conjunction with threats management and restoration activities, as well as research designed to investigate the effectiveness of these actions is a means to gain insights into causes of declines and to increase the rate at which depleted populations could be revived. It is important to realize that if the causes of tortoise population declines are not addressed, simply increasing population numbers in the wild through augmentation will not result in recovery. Augmentation will not be a long-term strategy for conservation of the desert tortoise, but rather an intermediate, experimental strategy aimed at increasing populations more rapidly than possible through natural processes.

 
Population Augmentation Strategy (0.5MB PDF)New Desert Tortoise Info
2020 Desert Tortoise Translocation Guidance (2.8MB PDF)
Desert tortoises are an essential part of their desert habitat story
Population Augmentation as a Recovery Strategy for the Mojave Desert Tortoise (3.8MB PDF)
Desert Tortoise Translocation Bibliography
Disease Risk Assessment
 

Greater Trout Canyon Translocation

 
  • Greater Trout Canyon Area Translocation plan (2.3MB PDF)
     
  • 2015 progress report
     

    Eldorado Valley Translocation

     
  • Eldorado Valley translocation plan (2.2MB PDF)
     
  • 2016 progress report
     
  • Harju, S.M., S.M. Cambrin, R.C. Averill-Murray, M. Nafus, K.J. Field, L.J. Allison. 2019. Using incidental mark-encounter data to improve survival estimation. Ecology and Evolution 10:360–370. (1.189MB PDF)
     

    Hidden Valley Translocation

     
  • Hidden Valley Translocation plan (.278MB PDF)
     

    Boulder City Conservation Easement Translocation

     
  • 2017 progress report and translocation plan addendum (1MB PDF)
     
  • BCCE translocation plan (1MB PDF)
     
  • Harju, S.M., S.M. Cambrin, R.C. Averill-Murray, M. Nafus, K.J. Field, L.J. Allison. 2019. Using incidental mark-encounter data to improve survival estimation. Ecology and Evolution 10:360–370. (1.189MB PDF)
     

    2019 Health Assessments for Translocation

     
  • Data Collection Form
     
  • Desert tortoise health evaluation handbook (2.9MB PDF)
       
     
    Last updated: February 22, 2021