• Gopherus agassizii (Desert Tortoise) cohabitation with American badger

      Germano, Jennifer M.; Perry, Lindsey (2012)
      American Badgers (Taxidea taxus) are known predators of juvenile and adult Desert Tortoises as well as their nests (Berry and Duck 2010. Answering Questions About Desert Tortoises: a Guide for People Who Work with the Public. Desert Tortoise Council, Ridgecrest, California. Available online at ). Despite this fact, on 8 August 2011, we observed a badger sharing a caliche cave retreat with an adult male Desert Tortoise in southern Nevada. The badger was seen peering out of the cave before retreating, upon which time some “shuffling” was heard and the tortoise appeared at the cave entrance, apparently unharmed, and proceeded to sit just inside the mouth of the cave. As the tortoise was part of a radio-tracking study, we re- located it a week later and it remained alive and healthy. Though badgers will occasionally kill Desert Tortoises, this observation suggests that they may, at least temporarily, share desert retreat sites with tortoises without antagonistic or predatory behavior. This research is supported by financial assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Desert Tortoise Recovery Office (Reno, Nevada, USA).
    • Impacts of upper respiratory tract disease on olfactory behavior of the Mojave desert tortoise

      Germano, Jennifer M.; Van Zerr, Vanessa E.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Ken E.; Lamberski, Nadine (2014)
      Upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) caused by Mycoplasma agassizii is considered a threat to desert tortoise populations that should be addressed as part of the recovery of the species. Clinical signs can be intermittent and include serous or mucoid nasal discharge and respiratory difficulty when nares are occluded. This nasal congestion may result in a loss of the olfactory sense....