Desert Tortoise Preserve

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Desert Tortoise Preserve

Post by reptilist » Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:27 pm

Stop by and say hi to Robert Villa, the on-site naturalist!

http://www.tortoise-tracks.org/dtna.html

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Re: Desert Tortoise Preserve

Post by Plays In The Dirt » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:45 pm

reptilist wrote:Stop by and say hi to Robert Villa, the on-site naturalist!

http://www.tortoise-tracks.org/dtna.html
It looks interesting, I hope that I can find the time to check it out.

Ha! When I first read Robert (or Bob) Villa I immediately thought, Oh, is he now in to tortoise preservation!

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Re: Desert Tortoise Preserve

Post by reptilist » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:58 am

Nope, this "Bob" Villa is a herpetologist!

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Re: Desert Tortoise Preserve

Post by Desert Cruiser » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:33 pm

Terry: Maybe someone you know could pass this along. In the last two weeks (for 3 trips) we've been exploring the Bradshaw Trail area of Southeastern California. In doing so we've encountered 2 desert tortoises. One older male and a smaller female. This area is a Desert Tortoise habitat according to the signs along the roads. I have a complaint about the area and really don't know who to address it to. The roads (particularly the Bradshaw Trail) is graded regularly by a grader and makes sandy banks along the road that are in some places 3 ft high. Both the Tortoises we found were having an impossible time trying to climb them to get where they were going. Of course this is graded for vehicular traffic so they can fly down the road! But this is detrimental to the tortoises and just makes it more likely that they will get hit by a vehicle on the road. They do look like rocks on the road. Also for anyone that doesn't know -- it's against the law to even touch them. Why you ask -- if you get them excited they urinate and lose all their body water as they can go for up to a year without drinking because they hold the water in their bladder. So if you pick one up and it urinates --- well you may have just killed it!!!! Shame. They should stop grading the roads and return them to a flat road with no banks! Just my two cents worth.

Don...

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Re: Desert Tortoise Preserve

Post by reptilist » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:56 am

Wow Don, that's a good point about the blade work! I would guess it is a county road and suggest contacting them with your suggestion. I sure appreciate the compassion you and your wife share for the natural world, we need more people like you in the world!

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Re: Desert Tortoise Preserve

Post by Plays In The Dirt » Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:29 pm

reptilist wrote:Wow Don, that's a good point about the blade work! I would guess it is a county road and suggest contacting them with your suggestion. I sure appreciate the compassion you and your wife share for the natural world, we need more people like you in the world!
In many areas around Southern Nevada environmental groups place tortoise fencing along Highways and construction sites to prevent them from getting out on the road and run over. Perhaps the county would be more willing to consider that if a little pressure were put on them, that way they could still have their berms.

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Re: Desert Tortoise Preserve

Post by Jerry Feldner » Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:03 pm

A little background so there is no confusion. This Robert Villa (Pronounced Vee-Ya) is a fellow I have known since he was about 14 or 15 years old. I believe he is now 21 and a senior at University of Arizona. He is quite serious about Herpetology and is Education Co-chair for the Tucson Herpetological Society (THS), of which he has been a member since he was in high school. The other Education Co-chair, is Dr. Ed Moll, Professor emeritus from Eastern Illinois U and a world recognized expert on turtles. Robert has done field research for other scientists as well as some of his own, notably in some pretty wild country in México.
When I saw Robert last month at the THS meeting, he was really stoked at having gotten the job, even though it is temporary. I am sure Robert will do a great job in the Mojave and protect his charges. And they do need protection. Some years ago, my son and I visited the Preserve and found some complete ass riding his dirtbike inside the confines of the DT Preserve. The only way he could have gotten in through the winding entrance is to have stood his bike up on the back wheel and walked it in. That's the way he had to get it out when my son threatened him with unspeakable penalties to his body if he did not remove himself from there immediately.

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