Book review: Biology and conservation of North American tortoises

Herpetological Review
By:  and 



The charismatic North American tortoises hold a special place in our culture and natural history. Despite the perseverance of these tortoises over millions of years, biologists now question their ability to persist into the future. In light of documented declines, habitat loss, and numerous threats to tortoise populations, the editors gathered a diverse group of researchers to review what we have learned about this group after decades of study, to summarize gaps in the literature, and to reflect on how we may use the current state of knowledge to conserve these fascinating species. Initially intended as a focused review of the two most well-studied species in the genus Gopherus, G. agassizii (Mohave Desert Tortoise) and G. polyphemus (Gopher Tortoise), the book developed into a comprehensive treatment of the entire genus. The editors offer the work as a resource to professional biologists and agencies working with North American tortoises as well as a teaching aid, hobbyist’s reference, and casual read for nature-lovers—although we presume that the former group is more likely to benefit than the latter. Although the book’s size appears modest, the content delivers an in-depth look at the five recognized tortoise species.

Review info: Biology and Conservation of North American Tortoises. Edited by David C. Rostal, Earl D. McCoy, and Henry R. Mushinsky, 2014. ISBN 978-1421413778, 190 pp.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Book review: Biology and conservation of North American tortoises
Series title Herpetological Review
Volume 46
Issue 2
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Publisher location Lawrence, KS
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 2 p.
First page 288
Last page 289
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N