The Different Types Of Tortoises That Live In California (2023)

There are many different types of tortoises that live in the state of California. Some of the most common include the desert tortoise, the gopher tortoise, and the red-footed tortoise. Each of these tortoises has its own unique habitat and diet, but all of them are found in the state of California.

Tortoises that thrive in California have thrived in harsh climates. Desert tortoises can grow to be 10 to 14 inches long on average and reach heights of up to 14 feet. There is no such thing as purchasing, selling, or breeding captive specimens in the state of California. If you want to adopt a desert tortoise, you can do so without fear of prosecution. Desert tortoises require large outdoor housing in order to thrive and to move about freely. A good pen must provide shade from the sun and a place to rest during the day. It is critical that there are no poisonous plants in the enclosure.

The Sulcata is a popular tortoise in North America, and it is one of the most well-known. They thrive in areas with little to no rainfall and can withstand low temperatures quite well. They are accustomed to various types of plants in captivity. Their diet should consist of 90% grass, 10% shrubs, and 10% hay. The Greek tortoise is small, about the size of a grain of rice, and can grow to be up to 10 inches long. It is yellow in color to tan in spots on the shells, with dark spots on each scute. Tortoises should consume up to 90% of their diet from weeds, grasses, hay, and edible flowers. The only time the tortoise requires to be brought indoors is when temperatures fall below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in a temperature gradient of 60 degrees to 85 degrees during the day and 40 to 75 degrees at night. If you want to have a pet tortoise in California, you’ll need one that lives in arid zones or the Mediterranean region.

True, tortoises can live outside – well, to be specific, wild tortoises can live on any terrain and in any climate. There is no requirement that a tortoise can live anywhere; however, in the majority of cases, it is possible for a tortoise to live outside for at least some time during the year.

The only tortoise found in Southern California is the desert tortoise. The wild population is listed as threatened in most cases due to human activity in areas where it lives, such as development.

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In addition to being small, feisty, eager to eat, and lively, these tortoises are more active than other types of tortoises. They are one of the few tortoises that can survive outside in Los Angeles all year, and they have the highest tolerance to temperature extremes, so they can survive outside all year if they have a burrow.

Despite the fact that keeping tortoises as pets in California is legal, owners must first obtain a permit to own desert tortoises native to the area. The African tortoise, a species known as a sulcata, is exempt from this requirement because it is indigenous to Africa, but it is not the right pet for everyone.

Are There Desert Tortoises In California?

The Different Types Of Tortoises That Live In California (1)

Yes, there are desert tortoises in California. They can be found in the Mojave and Colorado deserts.

Drinking does not affect mature desert tortoises who do not drink for a year. Desert tortoises burrow shallow, narrow tunnels into sandy soil to hide from both heat and cold. Their shovel-like front limbs and claws help them dig burrows. During the night, they can move up to 26 feet per minute as they feed. Except for their hard shells, which they use to survive, the desert tortoise is a defenseless creature found in sandy and gravelly areas of the southwestern United States. bobcats, foxes, badgers, and coyotes are among their natural predators. Humans are among their greatest adversaries, whether captured illegally for the pet trade or killed.

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Desert tortoises are active all day, but they are inactive at night. They are not frequently seen together, but during mating season, they may form loose groups.
Physical characteristics are divided into five categories.
The desert tortoise is a large, slow-moving reptile that can grow to be 9 to 15 inches long and weigh up to 15 pounds. Tortoises have a brown, yellow, or green shell, which accounts for 30% of their weight. It is quite scaly, however. In the wild, tortoises typically live for 35 to 40 years, but in captivity, they can live for up to 80 years.
It is said that longevity lasts a lifetime.
Desert tortoises can live to be as old as 60 years old in captivity if properly cared for. They begin to mature as soon as they are 5 years old in captivity.
I am not good at acting.
Desert tortoises are active during the day but are inactive at night.

Are There Tortoises In Southern California?

The Different Types Of Tortoises That Live In California (2)

There are several species of tortoises found in Southern California. The most common is the desert tortoise, which is found in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. Other species include the Southern California mountain tortoise, found in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains, and the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, found on Santa Cruz Island.

The long, slow-moving Desert Tortoise can survive in the wild for up to 80 years. Desert tortoises are currently in decline as a result of habitat destruction.
A desert tortoise is a great addition to your family if you’re looking for a unique pet. They can be found in the wild for up to 30-50 years, but they can be kept in captivity for up to 80 years. Desert tortoises are an unforgettable and fascinating pet that can be kept for a lifetime.
If you want to buy a desert tortoise, look for a reputable breeder who specializes in this species. The cost of desert tortoises varies, but it is fair to say that they range in price from $949.00 to $3,995.00. Our selection of desert tortoises is extensive, so please browse it if you’re interested in purchasing one. You can find a desert tortoise that meets your needs here.

Tortoise In California

The desert tortoise is a reptile that is found in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. In California, the desert tortoise is found in the Mojave and Colorado deserts. The desert tortoise is a protected species in California.

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The desert tortoise is California’s state reptile and the most studied animal in Joshua Tree National Park. The tortoise was added to the California and Federal endangered species lists in 1989 and 1990, respectively. More people introduced ravens and black birds, such as hawks and falcons, who enjoyed hatching tortoises. Human handling can lead to the spread of Upper Respiratory Tract Disease, which causes damage to the tortoise’s respiratory system. Tortoises can mate at any time of year, with the peak season from March to early October. During the months of May through July, the average number of eggs per clutch is five. Tortoise dens can reach 30 feet long in general, but they can be shallower or shorter in summer.

It is illegal to possess or keep wild tortoises under the Endangered Species Act. There is no way to keep a tortoise in the wild and keep it as a pet. A wild tortoise, on the other hand, rarely travels more than a few miles from its birthplace. The tortoise was well-known to the western deserts’ aboriginal people. The desert tortoise is a threatened species in the desert. Scientists are studying the tortoise in Joshua Tree National Park as part of their research. In the heat, they emerge from their burrows, forage, and look for mates. If you see one, please take a wildlife observation card with you, which can be obtained from visitor centers.

The California Turtle and Tortoise Club (CTTC) is a non-profit organization that raises desert tortoises for adoption. Potential adoptive parents can fill out an adoption application on the CTTC website. Adopters must also provide information about the tortoise, such as its weight, color, and markings. A tortoise must also be free of parasites and diseases in addition to parasites and diseases. CTTC will contact the tortoise’s adoptive family to schedule a time for the tortoise to meet and greet. People can make a difference in the preservation of these tortoises by donating to the cause. Adopting a tortoise allows you to become a part of its life, which helps to ensure that it will live on for many years to come.

Are Tortoises Legal In California?

The sale, purchase, harm, take, possess, transport, or use of a projectile to harm or kill a tortoise (Gopherus) is illegal in California (California Fish and Game Code 5000). Prior to 1972, a tortoise was ineligible to be kept as a pet. A copy of California Fish and Game Code 5001.

Things To Consider Before Getting A Tortoise As A Pet

Tortoises are available whether you have a small backyard or a large property. The American Tortoise Society has a wealth of information on tortoise care, so read it carefully before purchasing a tortoise for yourself. Tortoises are ideal pets because they can be a lot of fun to have around. They are a popular companion for anyone who enjoys spending time with them because they are active and playful. If you want to buy a tortoise as a pet, do your research first. A tortoise requires a special diet in order to be healthy, and it necessitates a large amount of outdoor space before becoming well enough to be brought home.

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What Tortoise Can You Have In California?

The desert tortoise is the only species native to California. A Californian desert tortoise is also known as a desert tortoise in California. Captive specimens are illegal in California to purchase, sell, or breed. It is perfectly legal, however, to adopt a desert tortoise.

Not All Tortoises Are Created Equal: Why Some Require A Certificate To Be Sold

There are tortoises listed in Annex C that require a CITES sales certificate before they can be sold or imported into the United States, such as the African spurred tortoise and the Galapagos tortoise. As a result, the gopher tortoise and the Mexican tortoise, as well as other tortoise species, are not subject to restrictions because they are not listed in any Annex. It is critical to remember that any tortoise, whether in its Annex or outside of it, is protected by law and cannot be sold or traded without the proper permits. You must first check the laws in your area before purchasing or caring for a tortoise.

Where Do Tortoises Live In California?

They can travel for several days or even weeks without food or water. Desert tortoises are typically found in creosote-bush flats, which are typically open washes. Mountainous canyons and hillsides are among the most common places in eastern Sonoran Desert.

Desert Tortoise Ownership In California: The Debate

It’s unclear whether owning a desert tortoise in California is legal. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issues permits and permits stickers to ensure the legal possession of desert tortoises. It is not illegal to own a desert tortoise in California, but it must be kept in a well-conditioned environment and fed properly.


1. Can California save the Mojave desert tortoise from extinction?
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2. Dozens of desert tortoises need Arizona forever homes
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4. California Desert Tortoise - Snail Attack!
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5. Top 10 facts about Sulcata Tortoise That Will Blow Your Mind
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6. California Desert Tortoise in danger following five-year drought
(CGTN America)
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