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Desert Tortoise Conservation Biology

Categorized as: Nature & Outdoors
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The desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, is a fascinating species whose existence is threatened. In the morning participants will start by exploring the tortoise preserve at Copper Mountain College (CMC). Moving to the classroom, Kristin Berry Ph.D., representing the Western Ecological Research Center of the U.S. Geological Survey, will discuss the ecology, life history and current threats to this species. Edward LaRue Jr. M.S., representing the Desert Tortoise Council, will then discuss tortoise occurrence in the Morongo Basin since 1989, construction monitoring, and how to detect tortoises. Paul Delaney Ph.D., biology professor at CMC, will discuss management of the preserve, and introduce participants to the remarkable variety of adaptations exhibited by tortoises. Participants will then return outside to practice detecting tortoises, scat, tracks and burrows using field surveying equipment. This class will highlight unique morphological, physiological, and behavioral traits essential for these reptiles to survive in the desert, as well as critical issues in desert tortoise conservation. This course earns 1.0 unit through U.C. Riverside, Extension.

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Joshua Tree Gateway Communities, Palm Springs & Coachella Valley, Las Vegas Area, Death Valley, Ridgecrest & Northern Mojave, Anza-Borrego, Imperial Valley, S. CA Deserts, Hopi, Inland Empire & Victor Valley, Nevada (other than Las Vegas area), SoCal Mountains & Pass Areas, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, N. AZ, West Texas, Eastern Sierras, Needles, Lake Havasu, Laughlin & Kingman, Highway 178/Kernville/Lake Isabella, SoCal Coast - LA, OC, San Diego