Sonoran Desert Tortoise   Leave a comment

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

— James Bryant Conant

desert tortoise (1 of 1) blogSonoran Desert Tortoise (Sabino Canyon) — Image by kenne

The Sonoran Desert Tortoise is a large terrestrial turtle with a rough, keelless carapace that is gray to orange-brown, the plastron is not hinged, the hind limbs are elephantine, the front feet are shovel-like, and a prominent median projection extends forward from the front of the plastron (gular shield). For more than three decades, the Sonoran Desert Tortoise has been the subject of considerable conservation planning and action, much of which was adapted from conservation of the Mojave Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a species listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. 

In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the Sonoran Desert Tortoise warranted listing as a threatened or endangered species.  Since that time it has been a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. (Source: Tucson Herpetological Society)

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