PubTalk 3/2002 — Losing the Race for Survival?
The catastrophic decline of the desert tortoise in California
Kristin H. Berry, Desert Ecologist
- Learn about the unique social behavior and fragile ecology of the desert tortoise, some of whose populations have declined by 70-90% in the past 20 years
- Why is this fabled creature sometimes referred to as the "Methuselah of the Desert"?
- What is the importance of this species, already listed as Threatened (and perhaps soon as Endangered), in the desert ecosystem?
- How can tortoises reproduce when females lay eggs only in the spring and males have viable sperm only in the late summer?
- How have human activities influenced the increasingly important role of diseases in tortoise mortality?