Anybody know about the Bolson tortoise?

KarenSoCal

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I just seen something the other day that talked about a Bolson tortoise.
One of the old threads said that the Living Desert here in Palm Desert had 2 breeding pairs of them. I'll be at the Living Zoo this evening for a CTTC meeting. I'll ask the employees that attend if they are still here.
 

zovick

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Interesting! I see that there were threads about them years ago here on TFO. I'm going to have to read more about them...this is exciting! :)
The Bolson Tortoise is known scientifically as Gopherus flavomarginatus and was first discovered in 1959. It is essentially a huge version of the Desert Tortoise from the Mexican desert. FWIW, I used to own a couple of them back in the 1960's. Formerly more widespread, they now occur in Mexico on the private land of one single owner to the best of my knowledge.

The Turtle Conservancy has been working with them and breeding them in captivity and has an arrangement with Ted Turner to release young ones on a certain portion of his land in New Mexico. I am not sure if this land was part of the former range or not.

Here is a link to their program: https://www.turtleconservancy.org/programs/bolson-tortoise
 

wellington

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The Bolson Tortoise is known scientifically as Gopherus flavomarginatus and was first discovered in 1959. It is essentially a huge version of the Desert Tortoise from the Mexican desert. FWIW, I used to own a couple of them back in the 1960's. Formerly more widespread, they now occur in Mexico on the private land of one single owner to the best of my knowledge.

The Turtle Conservancy has been working with them and breeding them in captivity and has an arrangement with Ted Turner to release young ones on a certain portion of his land in New Mexico. I am not sure if this land was part of the former range or not.

Here is a link to their program: https://www.turtleconservancy.org/programs/bolson-tortoise
What happened with yours?
 

zovick

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What happened with yours?
I was in college in Boston, MA at the time I owned them. I was getting prepared to go to dental school over the summer after I finished college and knew it would be virtually impossible to take them with me, so I sold them to another cheloniophile. I kept track of him and them for a few years, but ultimately I lost contact with him, so I don't really have an answer. But it has been just under 60 years. I imagine they probably died off eventually since most Gopherus ssp. do not do well in New England (which I did not know when I bought them as a young fellow for only $55 a pair. Lone individuals were $30 each).

Here is one of the ads from back in the day:
 

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KarenSoCal

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The Bolson Tortoise is known scientifically as Gopherus flavomarginatus and was first discovered in 1959. It is essentially a huge version of the Desert Tortoise from the Mexican desert. FWIW, I used to own a couple of them back in the 1960's. Formerly more widespread, they now occur in Mexico on the private land of one single owner to the best of my knowledge.

The Turtle Conservancy has been working with them and breeding them in captivity and has an arrangement with Ted Turner to release young ones on a certain portion of his land in New Mexico. I am not sure if this land was part of the former range or not.

Here is a link to their program: https://www.turtleconservancy.org/programs/bolson-tortoise
How cool! I hope the project in New Mexico succeeds. I asked at the CTTC meeting tonight about the Bolson torts that used to be at the Living Desert. Unfortunately the man who had worked there the longest started at the zoo after the Bolsons were known to be there. He had never heard of them.
 

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