Mojave Desert Tortoise
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the availability of a Revised Recovery Plan for the threatened Mojave population of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Plan takes a new approach to reversing declines in Mojave desert tortoise populations through a coordinated effort of science-based implementation and evaluation of conservation actions.
Unlike the previous Recovery Plan, which focused on mitigation measures, this Plan recognizes the need to adjust to the accelerating pace of environmental change and its impact on key resource management issues, such as corridors and connectivity. The Plan will be a living document that advances a natural resource management model where ongoing detection of changes and attribution of causes will provide the basic information on whether or not the desert tortoise or its ecosystem is changing beyond natural variability.
By continuous examination of vulnerability, exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of the desert tortoise to environmental change, resource managers will be able to update the Plan as it is being implemented with conservation measures that will help the desert tortoise recover.