Range and habitats of the desert tortoise

Fish and Wildlife Research 13
By: , and 
Edited by: R.B. Bury and D.J. Germano


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We determined the current range of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) based on the available latest data from government agencies, the literature, and our experience. We developed the first detailed range map of this species and summarized information about habitat preferences. New records of occurrences were incorporated, and some peripheral localities of questionable authenticity were deleted. The distribution oCG. agassizii covers the broadest range of latitude, climatic regimes, habitats, and biotic regions of any North American tortoise. The northern portion ofits range is in the Mojave Desert of sDuth"eastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, and northwestern Arizona. The central portion of the range consists of several subdivisions of the Sonaran Desert in southeastern California, western and southern Arizona, and western Sonora, Mexico. The southern edge of its range is in the semitropical Sinaloan thornscrub and Sinaloan deciduous forest of eastern Sonora and northern Sinaloa, Mexico. This species has marked geogi-aphic differences but seems to construct burrows throughout its range.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Range and habitats of the desert tortoise
Series title Fish and Wildlife Research
Series number 13
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description p. 73-86
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Other Report
Larger Work Title Biology of North American Tortoises
First page 73
Last page 86
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