California’s Mojave desert tortoises move toward extinction. Why saving them is so hard
They’re the desert tortoise of Mexico and the Mojave of California. More and more of them are threatened by the loss of habitat while their habitat in Mexico is rapidly disappearing.
A group of wildlife experts, conservation researchers, and scientists are trying to save the Mojave desert tortoise, one of California’s most endangered wildlife species.
The tortoises are very rare and very much like the chinchilla, a small, gray rodent native to South America. Their name in Spanish means “little mouse.”
The desert tortoise is only found in several areas that stretch across the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in southern California. Those three areas are the Mojave National Preserve, Bolsa Chica, and Bolsa del Tigre.
The tortoises here are unique. They are protected and are not hunted. All the other tortoises in this area are protected in Mexico, but the tortoises are not.
These desert tortoises, which inhabit this area, are critically threatened.
They have been driven farther and farther apart.
They are threatened by the loss of habitat because of the development in the area.
They are also threatened by climate change because the areas where they live are shrinking.
They are threatened by land development and the expansion of irrigation by the National Irrigation District.
So even though they are protected, their habitat is disappearing. The desert tortoises are being pushed further apart.
One very important thing about the desert tortoises that hasn’t been reported in the media: they are endangered by the hunting of them. The Department of Fish and Game in California does not allow for the hunting of any desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert.
In addition to that, if you are a hunter who comes into the desert tortoise area, you would have to have a license. One of the reasons is that the tortoises are so valuable.
When we went to the desert tortoise area, we found that the desert tortoises and other wildlife are completely vulnerable to the loss of habitat.
The other thing that we found was that the loss of habitat has made them more vulnerable to climate change.
In 1980, the San Joaquin Valley was dry.