desert tortoise populations are attributed to a number of factors,
many of which are directly related to the growth of human population
in the desert. For example, predation by common ravens and free
roaming/feral dogs on desert tortoise has increased in the desert
with increased human populations. In addition, illegal or unauthorized
off road vehicle use in the desert, often associated with residential
development, is widely regarded as a serious impact to tortoises
and tortoise habitat in many areas. People also commonly collect
tortoises as pets which directly reduces the number of tortoises
in the wild. Pet tortoises may serve as vectors for diseases when
they are released back into the wild.
public that appreciates the value of the desert tortoise and understands
how human activities and other factors are contributing to its decline
is fundamental to a successful recovery effort. Accordingly, the
Desert Managers Group developed and approved a multi-faceted desert
wide Information and Education Project aimed at increasing public
support of and involvement in desert tortoise recovery in California.
The Project will develop and disseminate objective, consistent information
to the public, stakeholders, and decision makers about the factors
responsible for tortoise declines and the actions needed to facilitate
2005, the DMG established the Desert Tortoise Information and Education
Work Group to help facilitate implementation of the Project in a
collaborative manner among land and resource managers, scientists
Assist in the development and implementation of an information and education campaign about the desert tortoise to build public support for, and involvement in, its recovery.
- Review and
provide recommendations on (a) implementation of the DMG Desert
Tortoise Information and Education Project and (b) various products
(brochures, education material, etc.) developed through the Project.
public attitude, knowledge and beliefs about the desert tortoise
and evaluate the effectiveness of DT Information and Education
with the deployment and dissemination of desert tortoise information
and education products to identified target audience and markets.
findings, provide updates, and develop recommendations for consideration
by the DMG.