Wannabe caretaker. Are River Birches OK near my tortoises?

BamaBecky

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Apr 17, 2021
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Madison, AL
Hi! I'm moving from Phoenix to North Alabama. A friend has several 6-month old Sonoran tortoises and we have a plan for me to take a few of them. She has a lifetime of experience with them and has a Mama tortoise who's almost 100 and another couple in their 50s, so she knows her stuff as far as raising them in Arizona.

She gave me a list of plants that would be poisonous to tortoises, but it didn't have trees on it. Our yard has several river birches and the tortoise's corner of the yard for the next few years has a river birch that would drop leaves and small branches into their domain. Are river birches going to be OK for them? If not I'll be really sad because we can't get rid of the trees.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Hi! I'm moving from Phoenix to North Alabama. A friend has several 6-month old Sonoran tortoises and we have a plan for me to take a few of them. She has a lifetime of experience with them and has a Mama tortoise who's almost 100 and another couple in their 50s, so she knows her stuff as far as raising them in Arizona.

She gave me a list of plants that would be poisonous to tortoises, but it didn't have trees on it. Our yard has several river birches and the tortoise's corner of the yard for the next few years has a river birch that would drop leaves and small branches into their domain. Are river birches going to be OK for them? If not I'll be really sad because we can't get rid of the trees.
I could be wrong but I believe it's illegal to remove any native desert tortoises from the state of AZ.
 

Yvonne G

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I'm sorry, Becky, but you're going to have to re-think taking the tortoises with you. They don't belong to you or to your friend. They are the property of the state of Arizona, and as such, it is illegal to remove them from the state. Your friend is only their caretaker. It's quite a hefty fine if the government finds out about it.
 

Yvonne G

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What if it was born in her yard and descended from captive tortoises from 100 years back?
Doesn't matter. Her tortoises are "grandfatherd in", which means she can legally take care of them without fear of being fined, however, they still belong to the state of Arizona. Also, she should be aware that it is illegal to breed them. I think your friend needs to educate herself on the State's requirements for keeping native tortoises.
 

jsheffield

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That all being said, I put branches from birch trees (and maples) in with all of my torts, for them to eat and play with....

J
 

BamaBecky

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Madison, AL
Doesn't matter. Her tortoises are "grandfatherd in", which means she can legally take care of them without fear of being fined, however, they still belong to the state of Arizona. Also, she should be aware that it is illegal to breed them. I think your friend needs to educate herself on the State's requirements for keeping native tortoises.
We're headed in the right direction - looking at a permit request. Please don't judge my friend. She's not "breeding" them. She made a mistake determining gender and ended up with a few babies. The idea is to separate them so it doesn't happen again. She's not selling them - just trying to find loving careful homes.
 
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