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Reproductive ecology data for female Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in Joshua Tree National Park, USA

Data for journal manuscript: Reproductive Output and Clutch Phenology of Female Agassiz's Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in the Sonoran Desert Region of Joshua Tree National Park


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Puffer, S.R., and Lovich, J.E., 2019, Reproductive ecology data for female Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in Joshua Tree National Park, USA: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


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 season (April-July). [...]


Point of Contact :
Jeffrey E Lovich
Originator :
Shellie M Puffer, Jeffrey E Lovich
Metadata Contact :
Jeffrey E Lovich
Publisher :
U.S. Geological Survey
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
USGS Mission Area :
SDC Data Owner :
Southwest Biological Science Center

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The purpose of these data are to build a better understanding of the reproductive ecology of Agassiz's desert tortoises inhabiting the Sonoran Desert. We used these data to compare to published data on populations in the Mojave Desert and determine if geographic variation (between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts) of this wide-spread species can affect fecundity and clutch phenology of Agassiz's desert tortoises. As a conservation-reliant species, having a better understanding of desert tortoise ecology will allow for more effective management of the species.


The author(s) of these data request that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data for other purposes, nor on all computer systems, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.

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DOI doi:10.5066/F7JW8D4B

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