Master Naturalists Learn about Desert Tortoise Adoption

15 master naturalists from multiple chapters attended a special MN/ AZ Game and Fish webinar on how to create a desert tortoise habitat and adopt one. 12 people attended a follow-up meeting at Penny Miller’s house to meet her adopted tortoise Shelly and learn about habitat construction and the care of tortoises. Each year, AZGF has more than 300 non-releasable tortoises that must be placed in private hands. Adult tortoises need 130 sq ft, juveniles need an 8’ x 8’ space, and hatchlings need 4’ x 4’ enclosures. All sizes of tortoises are currently available. To apply, go to AZGF ‘s website at or apply through the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum to learn the requirements; these are easy animals to care for! They are brumating (hibernating) for over 100 days each year. They are gentle, engaging education animals for Master Naturalists, and they are a “keystone” species whose burrows create homes or fire shelter for many other species. Those who missed it can contact Penny at for the recorded webinar link and class handouts. Let’s get these tortoises some forever homes! For more adoption application: Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum Adoption site or Arizona Game and Fish desert tortoise site:

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