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Arizona Interagency Desert Tortoise Team
 

Desert tortoise with swollen glandsThe Arizona Interagency Desert Tortoise Team (AIDTT) consists of biologists and managers assigned to the Team by the following agencies (alphabetically): Arizona Game and Fish Department; Arizona State Land Department; United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service; United States Department of Defense Luke Air Force Base, Marine Corp Air Station, and Yuma Proving Ground; and United States Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, Geological Survey, and National Park Service. In accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding, finalized in 1995 and signed by the above agencies, the Team serves as a forum to discuss desert tortoise issues, with a specific objective to conduct and coordinate research and management efforts. This interagency cooperation is intended to: (1) ensure the perpetuation of the species and (2) prevent loss and improve quality of habitat in Arizona. Many additional non-signatory agencies have also contributed to AIDTT over the years.

In 1996 the AIDTT crafted a management plan for the Sonoran population of desert tortoises in Arizona. The 1996 plan included management recommendations and options, but listed no goals and objectives nor agency commitments.
- Sonoran Desert Tortoise Management Plan

A status report for the Sonoran desert tortoise was written in 2000 stating that populations were stable with a few isolated declines, but many threats were looming including human population growth, habitat fragmentation and disease.
- Status Report

Since 1996, implementation of the management plan has been spotty at best. In 2002 the AIDTT reshifted its focus towards the construction of a proactive State Conservation Agreement (SCA) to maintain viable populations, and preserve habitat of the Sonoran desert tortoise throughout its range in Arizona. The SCA will include goals and objectives addressing threats at both a species and habitat level, with agency commitments towards meeting those goals and objectives. Stay tuned to the AIDTT web site for public meeting announcements and working drafts of the SCA.

 
Other AIDTT Products:
- Mitigation Measures for Desert Tortoises [PDF, 25kb]
- Tortoise Handling Guidelines [PDF, 22kb]
- Survey Guidelines for Consultants [PDF, 22kb]
- Plot Protocol [PDF, 280kb]
 
 
Desert Tortoise Downloads
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NOTE: The following files are PDFs and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.For text-only, use Adobe Access.
- Upper Respiratory Tract Disease in Sonoran Desert Tortoises
- Sonoran Desert Tortoise Population Monitoring
- Desert Tortoise Monitoring and Ecology
- Impacts of Urbanization on Desert Tortoises in Saguaro National Park
AZGFD Turtle Pages x
- Turtle Conservation and Management
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- What to do if you encounter a tortoise
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Related AZGFD Links line
- Heritage Fund
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- Arizona Reptile and Amphibian Regulations
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- Nongame Species Management
- Living With Venomous Reptiles
- Sign up for AZGFD eNews
External Links
- Desert Tortoise Council
- Phoenix Herpetological Society
- California Turtle and Tortoise Club
- Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)
- Southwest PARC
- Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group
- Turtle Survival Alliance
- NatureServe
 
 

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