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 Desert Tortoises

Fun Facts: About Desert Tortoises

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One of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders Like You’ve Never Experienced It Before


Desert Tortoises - Adoption Information 


Arizona has two native species of tortoise, the Sonoran desert tortoise, Gopherus morafkai; and the Mojave desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii.

Desert Tortoises are found in the Southwest United States and Northwestern Mexico. These are the Southwesten states where you will find desert tortoises. - Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah. Despite sometimes hanging out in burrows together, desert tortoises are pretty solitary. And sometimes when males come across each other, they’ll fight to establish dominance. 

If You have questions about adopting a desert tortoises please phone one of the State Departments below in your area. If you have questions about what to do if you find an injuried desert tortoises in your area, please call one of the State Departments in your area.


  1. 1. Arizona. Arizona Game and Fish Dept. Nongame Wildlife Section. (602) 942-3000.
  2.     2. California. California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. ...
  3.     3. Nevada. Nevada Division of Wildlife. (702) 486-5127. ...
  4.     4. Utah. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. (435) 879-8694.

What To do If You Find A Desert Tortoises: In Arizona please contact The Arizona Game and Fish Department - Visit The Arizona Game and Fish Department website to learn more about the Desert Tortoises - Click Here!


Desert Tortoises Adoption Program


Each year the Arizona Game and Fish Department adopts out hundreds of captive desert tortoises that are surrendered to the department. These tortoises cannot be released back into the wild because captive tortoises can transmit diseases that can decimate our wild population. Desert tortoises are nontraditional pets, but are fascinating animals and families can gain an appreciation of desert wildlife by caring for a tortoise and watching its natural behavior.

Learn more at The Arizona Game and Fish Department - Visit their website - click here!

Under state law, desert tortoises are available for adoption for Arizona residents only.

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