Desert tortoise

Gopherus agassizii


Critically Endangered

Activity Period




They prefer burrows to sewers as their underground home

Burrows created by desert tortoises are often used by other animals, like snakes, jackrabbits, and even owls.

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True to their name, these tortoises live in desert areas - where sand is firm enough to dig burrows for nests. These cold-blooded reptiles are the same temperature as their surroundings, so they spend most time underground to keep cool.


Across southern Nevada and Mojave deserts of California and Arizona.

Life Expectancy

35 years in the wild, up to 50-100 years under human care.


Grasses, flowering plants, shrubs, cactus pads, and fruits.

Social Structure

Desert tortoises are typically solitary; however, they may share burrows.

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