PubTalk 3/2002 — Losing the Race for Survival?

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Detailed Description

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?

Details

Image Dimensions: 200 x 150

Date Taken:

Length: 01:05:43

Location Taken: Menlo Park, CA, US

Transcript

Contact wmcesic@usgs.gov for transcript.