New Generation of Tortoise Hatchlings Released at Mojave National Preserve
Tortoise hatchling (photo courtesy of Jacob Daly).
Earlier this year, the Ivanpah Desert Tortoise Research Facility at Mojave National Preserve (CA) released 48 desert tortoise hatchlings into the wild as part of its “head-start"program. Listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the tortoise’s decline is due to road mortality, increased drought pressure, increased predation, and habitat loss.
Since its federal listing, there have been significant efforts to stabilize desert tortoise populations, but numbers are still low. Drs. Tracey Tuberville and Kurt Buhlmann(University of Georgia) and Dr. Brian Todd (University of California, Davis) are working to develop effective ways to protect hatchlings in order to give them a better chance at survival.
The research facility has been a partnership between Chevron Corporation, the National Park Service (NPS), and NPT. The 7-acre property and research facility were a part of a mitigation settlement. NPT has turned over management of the facility to NPS; however, Chevron provided NPT with $491,000 to support tortoise research. NPS and NPT will be working to secure additional funds to extend the research for another decade.
Click here to view a video on the Ivanpah Desert Tortoise Research Facility. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Grace Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.