Turtle Survival Center

The 10-year-old Turtle Survival Center in the pinewoods of South Carolina’s coastal plain is ground zero for the TSA’s long-term management and captive breeding program in North America.

Gopherus agassizii, Mojave Desert, Tortoise

Utah Tortoises

It’s February in St. George, Utah, snow is on the mountains, and I’m hiking in tortoise country with about 40 other tortoise nerds. We’re here for the Desert Tortoise Council symposium, and early arrivers like me are rewarded with a field trip.

Islands, Saint Helena

Saint Helena Island — Gallery

Scenes from the island of Saint Helena — a speck in the South Atlantic Ocean with 4,000 inhabitants but most well known for Napoleon and Jonathan the tortoise.

Jamestown, Saint Helena

Islands, Tortoise

On the Island of Saint Helena

The world’s most well-known living tortoise, Jonathan, is also one of the world’s most remote — living on a volcanic island a thousand miles off the coast of Africa.

Coachella Valley, Flora, Mojave Desert

Desert Springtime – Gallery

The spring of 2022 was a dry one, and in the middle of an extended drought. But life still prevails. Seeds must be produced. These little flowers gave it everything they had to complete their lifecycle before another summer set in.

Gopherus agassizii, Mojave Desert

Desert Tortoise U.

There’s an entire industry set up to manage tortoise populations. At the center of the action is the Desert Tortoise Council, a brain trust of biologists, ecologists, and conservationists who have been training people for 30 years to help protect these tortoises.

Galapagos, Tortoise, Writing

How it Started

“When did you realize you that this was something that you were meant to write?” a friend asked. “Was there one thing that flipped the switch for you?”

Aldabra Atoll aerial view

Aldabra atoll, Islands

Aldabra, Island Untouchable

Aldabra atoll is many things: It’s the second largest atoll in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to many endemic plants and animals including more than 100,000 giant tortoises. Two biologists share their experiences.

Galapagos, Tortoise

Melville in the Galapagos

“What other bodily being possesses such a citadel wherein to resist the assaults of Time?” That’s Herman Melville talking about tortoises. In 10 vignettes he paints a portrait of the Galapagos Islands, and the tortoise is a recurring character.