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 pmiller451@aol.com 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 https://www.desertmuseum.org/programs/tap.php or Arizona Game and Fish desert tortoise site: https://www.azgfd.com/wildlife/nongamemanagement/tortoise/captivecare/

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