Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii
August 2010

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TAXONOMY & NOMENCLATURE
(Bonin et al 2006) (Bramble 1982) (Crawford et al. 2012) (Crumly 1984) (Ernst & Lovich 2009) (ITIS 2010) (Le et al 2006) (McCord 2002) (Murphy et al 2007) (Zylstra & Steidl 2009)

Describer (Date): Cooper 1863 Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. Vol 2, p.120.

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Reptilia (see Collins and Taggart 2002 for suggesting to place turtles alone in a class - Chelonia)
             Order: Testudines (turtles)
                Family: Testudinidae (11 or 12 living genera of terrestrial turtles)
                           Genus: Gopherus (4 species of North American tortoises)
                                  Species: Gopherus polyphemus (gopher tortoise)
                                  Species: Gopherus berlandieri (Texas or Berlandier's tortoise)
                                  Species: Gopherus flavomarginatus (Bolson tortoise)
                                  Species: Gopherus agassizii (desert tortoise)


Taxonomic History and Nomenclature

Phylogeny 

DISTRIBUTION & HABITAT
(Anderson et al 2000) (Berry 1990) (Curtin et al 2008) (Ernst & Lovich 2009) (Lamb & McLuckie 2002) (Osorio & Bury 1982) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994) (Van Devender 2002) (Zylstra & Steidl 2009)

 


Distribution: (Van Devender 2002)
Habitat: (Van Devender 2002)

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
(Auffenberg 1974) (Bonin et al 2006) (Ernst & Lovich 2009) (Stebbins 2003)

Body Weight: 3.6-6.8 kg (8-15 lb)
Carapace Length: 20.3-38.1 cm (8-15 in)
Tail Length: Short

General
Sexual Dimorphism Other Physical Characteristics

BEHAVIOR & ECOLOGY
(Berry 1986) (Burge 1977) (Ernst & Lovich 2009) (Luckenbach 1982) (Woodbury & Hardy 1948) (Riedle et al 2008) (Ruby & NIblick 1994)


Activity Cycle
Use of Dens (Woodbury & Hardy 1948) Territory Size/Behavior/Density of Occupation (Berry 1986) Aggressive/Defensive behavior (Ruby & Niblick 1994) (Berry 1986) Communication (Ruby & Niblick 1994)

      Displays and Olfactory Signals
Vocalizations
Locomotion (Woodbury & Hardy 1948)
Interspecies Interaction (Woodbury & Hardy 1948)

DIET & FEEDING
(Averill-Murray 2002) (Boarman 2002) (Bonin et al 2006)
(Bury 1982) (Hansen et al 1976)
(Jarchow et al 2002) (Marlow & Tollestrup 1982) (Murray 1997) (Nagy et al 1998) (Nagy & Medica 1986) (Oftedal 2002, 2003) (Walde et al 2006)


REPRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
(Averill-Murray et al 2002) (Curtin et al 2009) (Ernst & Lovich 2009) (Germano et al 2002) (Grover & DeFalco 1995) (Luckenbach 1982)
(Miller & Dinkelacker 2008) (Nowak et al 1999) (Ruby & Niblick 1994) (Stebbins 2003) (Woodman & Juarez 1988)

Courtship (Ruby & Niblick 1994) (Miller & Dinkelacker 2008)
Egg Laying/Nesting (Averill-Murray et al 2002) (Curtin et al 2009) (Miller & Dinkelacker 2008 ) (Nowak et al 1999) (Wallis et al 1999) Life Stages
      Eggs
Hatchlings       Young       Adults Longevity Mortality

MANAGED CARE
(Edwards et al 2004) (Jarchow et al 2002)


POPULATION AND CONSERVATION STATUS
(Berry 1991) (Boarman 2001) (California Fish and Game Website 2010) (Corn 1994) (Federal Register Aug 28, 2009) (Rosmarino & Connor 2008)
(Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group 1996) (USFWS 1991, 1994) (Van Devender 2002) (Zylstra & Steidl 2009)

Population Status
Conservation Threats to survival (Berry 1991) (Boarman 2001)
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