Third annual “Desert Tortoise Week” kicks off in October 

Published by The Bee News

September 30, 2021

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Third annual “Desert Tortoise Week” kicks off in October 

Experience educational events and conservation activities throughout  

entire range of threatened Mojave desert tortoise. 

Palm Springs, Calif. — Local, federal and nonprofit organizations throughout the entire range of the Mojave desert tortoise are coming together to raise awareness and promote recovery of one of the desert’s most iconic species through a series of events starting in October.

The Mojave desert tortoise was listed under the Endangered Species Act as threatened in 1990 due to habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and predation. The tortoise faces many threats, but you can be part of the species’ recovery. Learn more about actions to help them during “Desert Tortoise Week,” being celebrated Oct. 4-8, 2021.

Schedule of events: (Also available at

Tortoise Table, Joshua Tree National Park

October 4 – October 8, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Visit the “Tortoise Table” outside the Oasis of Mara Visitor Center for tortoise talks and games. Spin the “Wheel of Tortoise” and learn about threats and conservation efforts.

Contacts:, 760-367-5522

Location: 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

Open Spaces Photo Contest, Mojave Desert Land Trust

October 4 – October 8, online

Enter a photo contest for the chance to win tortoise monitoring training and an overnight excursion. Visit Instagram page, @mojavedesertlandtrust to enter.



Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt, Utah Department of Natural Resources 

October 4 – October 8, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. (MDT)

Join a short scavenger hunt activity in Snow Canyon State Park. Handouts are available at the park’s visitor center or online at


Location: 1002 N. Snow Canyon Dr., Ivins, UT 847388

Desert Tortoise Native Plant Sale, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens 

October 4 – October 9, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Create a tortoise habitat in your own garden by planting native plants.


Location: 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260

At-Home Desert Tortoise Paint-By-Numbers, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens 

October 4 – October 9, downloadable online

Paint the desert tortoise’s landscape to life and ponder ways to help protect this iconic species.



Tortoise Scavenger Hunt, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens 

October 4 – October 9, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Self-led scavenger hunt with prizes and wildlife exhibits.


Location: 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260

BioBlitz 2021, Desert National Wildlife Refuge 

October 9 – October 10

Become a Citizen Scientist and document species on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

Contacts:, 702-817-3936

Location: Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Las Vegas NV

Online Fall Native Plant Sale, Mojave Desert Land Trust 

October 11 – October 13, online

Order native plants online from the Mojave Desert Land Trust.



The Desert Tortoise, Art, and You, Mojave Desert Land Trust 

October 14, 8 a.m. virtual launch

Learn more about the species through this new Desert Indoors Module.



Student Contest: Tortoise Art – Show What You Know!, Mojave Desert Land Trust 

October 18 – October 21, online

Enter a Student Art Contest for the chance to win a grand prize; all entrants receive a MDLT sticker. Adults can enter their student by visiting MDLT’s Instagram page, @mojavedesertlandtrust.



Native Planting Restoration Project, Nevada Department of Wildlife 

October 16, October 23, October 30 and November 6 at 9 a.m.

The Friends of Nevada Wilderness and Nevada Department of Wildlife are holding a Native Planting Event to restore plants following a wildfire. To participate, create a volunteer account at


Location: Mormon Mountains, NV

Find more desert tortoise information and events at:

Joshua Tree National Park

Facebook: @JoshuaTreeNPS, Twitter: @JoshuaTreeNPS, Instagram: @joshuatreenps, YouTube: JoshuaTreeNPS

Desert Tortoise Council

Friends of the Desert Mountains

Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Marine Air Ground Combat Training Center Twentynine Palms

U.S. Army Fort Irwin National Training Center

Be sure to call ahead for current information and follow CDC safe practices when attending in-person events.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit or connect with us via FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Flickr.

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