Press Release
Fourth annual “Desert Tortoise Week” kicks off in October
Experience educational events and conservation activities throughout range of threatened Mojave desert tortoise.
Media Contacts

Multiple government agencies and conservation organizations throughout the range of the Mojave desert tortoise are partnering to raise awareness and promote recovery of one of the desert’s most iconic species through a series of events starting Oct. 1, 2022.

The Mojave desert tortoise was listed under the Endangered Species Act as threatened in 1990 due to habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and predation. The tortoise faces many threats, but you can be part of the species’ recovery by learning more about actions to help them during “Desert Tortoise Week.”

Schedule of events:

Natural History of the Desert Tortoise Lecture

October 1, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Learn about the life history, conservation challenges, research and local population found within the Coachella Valley region, and see the Visitor Center’s desert tortoise ambassador at his burrow.

Contact: Space is limited. RSVP by September 30th, 760-862-9984

Location: Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, 51-500 Highway 74, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Desert Tortoise Celebration Day Community Event

October 1, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Join a community event to support conservation of the desert tortoise.


Location: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260

Tortoise Chat & Feeding

October 2, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Join a National Monument Park Ranger for early morning feeding of the Visitor Center’s desert tortoise ambassador at his burrow.

Contact: 760-862-9984

Location: Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, 51-500 Highway 74, Palm Desert, CA 92260

ROaD’s App Field Trip Training for Identifying Tortoise Sign and Raven Monitoring

October 2, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Join Tortoise Group to learn how to become a citizen scientist and collect data using the ROaD’s App while out hiking or exploring the desert. Visit to find out more about the app.


Location: Jean and Roach Dry Lake Beds, Sloan, NV (meet at intersection of Knight Ranch Rd. and Las Vegas Blvd., just south of Seven Magic Mountains)

ROaD’s App Data Collection Contest

October 2 - October 7, anytime

Use the Road Warriors (ROaDs) data collection app for Tortoise Group giveaways to the citizen scientist with the most collected observations. Visit to find out more about the app.


Location: Anywhere in the natural desert tortoise range

Online Presentation, Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

October 3, 11 a.m.

Join an online presentation highlighting efforts of the desert tortoise head start program and talk about the project with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.


Tortoise Table at Joshua Tree National Park Cultural Center

October 4, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Join a park ranger at the Tortoise Table for fun, games, and tortoise fun facts.

Contact:, 760-367-5522

Location: Joshua Tree National Park, Cultural Center, 6533 Freedom Way, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

Tortoise Evening Program and Ranger Talk

October 6, 7:30 p.m.

Join a park ranger for a 45-minute presentation. Discover tortoise fun facts, learn about threats and conservation efforts, and what can be done to save this iconic species from extinction.

Contact:, 760-367-5522

Location: Joshua Tree National Park, Indian Cove Campground Amphitheater, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

Desert Tortoise Meet and Greet and Guided Hike

October 7, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Meet the reserve's ambassador tortoises while strolling through their habitat down an educational path that guides you through their life and ends with a monument to the species.

Contact: or

Location: Snow Canyon State Park, Upper Galoot Picnic Area, Snow Canyon Dr., St. George, UT 84770

Check out a Live Desert Tortoise and Learn about Scary Desert Creatures

October 7, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Which desert creatures are the most venomous, strongest and sneakiest? Find out what a public poll determined to be the most feared desert creatures. Learn about their fascinating abilities and take a short walk to see a live tortoise. You are welcome to bring a picnic lunch.

Contact: Register at or call 760-862-9984

Location: Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, 51-500 Highway 74, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Fall Native Plant Sale, Mojave Desert Land Trust

October 8, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Fall Native Plant & Salvage Sale will take place in-person for the first time since 2019! Come check out favorite tortoise-friendly native plants.


Location: Mojave Desert Land Trust, 60124 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Native Planting Restoration Project, Nevada Department of Wildlife

October 8, October 15, October 22, and October 29

Multiple events happening each date, 9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the Nevada Department of Wildlife are holding a Native Planting Event to establish native plants following a wildfire. To participate, create a volunteer account at

Contact: For more information, visit

Location: Mormon Mountains, NV

Desert Tortoise Educational Programs and Events, Clark County Nevada

Multiple events happening throughout the week

Desert Conservation Program, Mojave Max, and Springs Preserve have several desert tortoise-focused education events scheduled throughout the week at Springs Preserve.


Location: The Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107

Find more desert tortoise information and events at:

Joshua Tree National Park

Facebook: @JoshuaTreeNPS, Twitter: @JoshuaTreeNPS, Instagram: @joshuatreenps, YouTube: JoshuaTreeNPS

Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Desert Tortoise Council

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 commitment to advancing the public’s understanding of the species. Trainings offered late October to early November 2022, as well as an annual symposium scheduled for February 2023 in Saint George, UT (with in-person and virtual attendance options).

Friends of the Desert Mountains

The organization preserves land, supports education, conservation and research in the Coachella Valley, and acts as the support organization for the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

Desert Balloon Project

Help cleanup desert tortoise habitat by picking up balloons.

Facebook: @desert balloon project



Wildlands provides wetland mitigation, endangered species conservation banking, habitat management, and ecosystem restoration solutions throughout the West Coast. Check out approved and upcoming desert tortoise habitat mitigation projects at

Be sure tocall ahead for current information and follow CDC safe practices.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit or connect with us via FacebookTwitterYouTube, Instagram, Flickr and Linkedin.

Story Tags

Endangered and/or Threatened species
Environmental education
Special events

Recreational Activities