Back to All Events

Friday Meeting

  • Balboa Park Casa Del Prado, Room 101 San Deigo, CA (map)

Richard Fife was born in Northern California in 1951.  A few years later he and his family moved to Canada and then to Arizona in 1956 where he was raised.  He has three brothers and three sisters. Richard has been married to his wife Lark for 45 years.  They had 7 children and currently have 19 grandchildren and one more on the way.

 In 1975 Richard and Lark moved to Brownsville, Texas where he was employed by the Gladys Porter Zoo where he became the Zoo's Assistant Curator of Reptiles. Richard left the zoo in 1978 and returned to Arizona, where he worked for an engineering company.

 In 1995 Richard and his family moved to Hereford, Arizona where he owns and operates Riparian Farms a breeding facility for turtles and tortoises.  He produced the first "Ivory Tortoise" about 17 years ago and breeds about 10 species of turtles and tortoises.

 After reading some of the first work done on temperatures sex determination in turtles, in 1977 he suggested the same may be true for Leopard Geckos which he helped to confirmed.  He collaborated with researches at Oklahoma State University and Missouri State University to quantify temperature sex determination in African Spurred Tortoises.

 Richard also introduced to tortoise hobbyists the benefits of moisture and humidity in rearing hatching tortoises in order to mitigate pyramiding. He worked with the USDA in drafting the regulation which allows the interstate movement of certain land tortoises and is currently working with the FDA in an effort to amend the 4-inch turtle rule to exempt certain turtle and tortoise species, which are so rare or expensive as to only be of interest to serious hobbyists.

He has presented talks at various meeting in the USA, Europe, and Africa on the husbandry of reptiles and coauthored "The Leopard Tortoise Book" with his brother Jerry Fife. He is currently writing a new book on the husbandry of African Spurred tortoises. He is on the board of directors of the Turtle & Tortoise Preservation Group. Richard has traveled in Africa, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Middle East to observe and photograph turtles, tortoises, and other reptiles in their natural habitat.

 He will be speaking on the Husbandry of Turtles and Tortoises. His talk will include housing, temperature, lighting, diet, reproduction, care of hatchlings, and other aspects of turtle and tortoise husbandry.

Meeting Location:
Balboa Park
Casa Del Prado
Room 101

Earlier Event: August 10
Friday Meeting