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These data were compiled to evaluate the reproductive ecology of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizzi) in the Sonoran Desert of California using two populations within Joshua Tree National Park, including five reproductive seasons that spanned 20 years (1997-1999, 2015-2016). Compared to their conspecifics inhabiting the Mojave Desert, the reproductive ecology of G. agassizii in the Sonoran Desert is understudied. Climatic variation between the two deserts can affect reproductive ecology, including fecundity and clutch phenology. Mature female tortoises (straight-line carapace length ≥ 20 cm) outfitted with radiotransmitters were located and X-radiographed approximately every 10-14 days during the reproductive...
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This dataset provides spatial predictions of habitat suitability for Gopherus agassizii (Agassiz’s desert tortoise), Gopherus morafkai (Morafka’s desert tortoise) and a pooled-species model under current conditions (1950 – 2000 yr). The raster layers contained here accompany the manuscript Inman et al. 2019 and were used to evaluate subtle ecological niche differences between G. agassizii and G. morafkai, and identify local species-environment relationships. Spatial predictions of habitat suitability were created using MaxEnt version 3.4.0 (Phillips et al., 2006), a widely-used software for SDM in presence-background frameworks. Detailed methods are provided in Inman et al. 2019. Inman et al. 2019. Local niche...
To elucidate ecological effects of variation in the temporal distribution of a limiting resource (water in the Mojave Desert), energetics of two free-living populations of desert tortoises (Gopherus [=Xerobates] agassizii) were studied concurrently over 18 mo with use of doubly-labeled water. Field metabolic rates (FMR) and feeding rates (estimated from rates of water influx and rates of change in dry mass) were highly variable. This variability was manifested at several levels, including seasonal changes within populations, year-to-year differences within populations, and differences between populations. Underlying observed patterns and contrasts was considerable variation among individuals. Much of the variation...
1. Heating and cooling rates of the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, were measured in the field and in the laboratory. 2. Heating rates in the field were up to ten times faster than cooling rates. 3. Under controlled conditions, heating rates equalled rates of cooling. 4. Heart rates during heating were significantly faster than during cooling at any particular body temperature. 5. Subcutaneous neck temperatures did not differ from cloacal temperatures during heating or cooling, suggesting a state of continuous vasodilation. 6. Results are interpreted as suggesting that behavioral postures and activities play a greater role than physiology in the determination of thermal exchange rates of the desert tortoise....
In the Sonoran Desert of North America, populations of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) occur in rocky foothills throughout southwestern Arizona and northwestern Mexico. Although tortoise populations appear to be isolated from each other by low desert valleys, individuals occasionally move long distances between populations. Increasingly, these movements are hindered by habitat fragmentation due to anthropogenic landscape changes. We used molecular techniques and radiotelemetry to examine movement patterns of desert tortoises in southern Arizona. We collected blood samples from 170 individuals in nine mountain ranges and analyzed variability in seven microsatellite loci to determine genetic differentiation...
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These data were compiled to evaluate reproductive output of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizzi) in relation to environmental and individual-level variables. We collected data from four study sites in the Sonoran Desert of California, including two separate populations within Joshua Tree National Park, one population located on the northern versant of the Orocopia Mountains, and one population located at the extreme western end of the Coachella Valley. These data represent eight reproductive seasons that spanned over 20 years (1997-2000, 2015-2018). These data were compiled and added to a larger database with additional records collected by other scientists from eight other study sites in order to detect...
1. 1. Deep body and shell surface temperatures were monitored via radio-telemetry from unrestrained desert tortoises in their natural habitat. 2. 2. The surface of the carapace acts as a buffer against solar radiation, resulting in deep body temperatures up to 10�C below shell surface at the time of the midday retreat to burrows. 3. 3. The burrow of the desert tortoise provides the only ambient temperatures at ground level which are below the lethal range for this species during midday hours. 4. 4. Evening retreat to burrows permits an extension of higher body temperatures into the mid-evening hours. 5. 5. The use of evening burrow retreats lessens in mid-summer. This behavioral change results in lower body temperatures...


map background search result map search result map Reproductive ecology data for female Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in Joshua Tree National Park, USA Spatial Predictions of Mojave Desert Tortoise, Sonoran Desert Tortoise and Pooled Species Habitat Suitability for present-day (1950 – 2000 yr) Agassiz's desert tortoise and egg data from the Sonoran Desert of California (1997-2000, 2015-2018) Reproductive ecology data for female Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in Joshua Tree National Park, USA Agassiz's desert tortoise and egg data from the Sonoran Desert of California (1997-2000, 2015-2018) Spatial Predictions of Mojave Desert Tortoise, Sonoran Desert Tortoise and Pooled Species Habitat Suitability for present-day (1950 – 2000 yr)