CDT - California desert tortoises...
These tortoises are found in dry, arid environments in California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. There is a Texas species as well. They are an endangered species and protected by law in most areas.
The Desert Tortoise average size is 13-14˝, but can reach 15". The
front feet are quite muscular and used for digging, while the rear legs are
stout and almost elephant-like.
The mud brown, high-domed shell is well suited to this desert dweller. They dig burrows which provide shelter from extreme heat in Summer and a place to hibernate in Winter.
Their diet consists of 90% grasses and weeds and they benefit from an occasional soaking. The rest of their diet would include occasional flowers, cactus and dark greens. Incorrect diet will display in the formation of soft shell, or shell pyramiding ("spiking.") Poor diet and hydration may also contribute to the development of bladder stones.
The Mohave Desert Tortoise is the official reptile of the State of California and listed as by the Department of Fish and Game as an endangered species.
In California, it is legal to care for a Desert Tortoise, but only with a
permit issued by California Fish and Game. But it is illegal to remove
them a CDT from the wild, or to return them the wild.
Captive breeding is also illegal in California so care must be taken to remove all possibility of mixing genders. Solitary by nature, they do well by themselves and can thrive and live up to 100 years in captivity.