Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New Mexico
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New Mexico Project

Habitat Use and Survival of Reintroduced Juvenile Bolson Tortoises

May 2022 - May 2025


Participating Agencies

  • Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture

The Bolson tortoise is the largest and rarest of the six Gopherus species native to North America. With the exception of captive breeding populations in New Mexico, the Bolson tortoise has been extirpated from its U.S. range for over 12,000 years. In cooperation with the USFWS and the Turner Ecoagriculture Institute, this study will evaluate survival rates and habitat use of juvenile Bolson tortoises released on a large private ranch in southern New Mexico. The results from this study will be used to inform future reintroduction decisions within the species historic range in the Chihuahuan Desert.