The desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, is a threatened species native to the North American desert southwest and is recognized as having distinct Mojave and Sonoran populations. We identified six polymorphic microsatellite loci in the desert tortoise. All six loci were polymorphic in Sonoran samples. Five of the loci were variable in Mojave samples with varying degrees of amplification success. Two of the loci exhibited low allelic variation (2-3 alleles) while four were highly variable (8-27 alleles).