- The recommended area for the tortoise is 600 square feet (for example, 30′ x 20′).
- Some areas of shade and some of full sun.
- Area must be fenced.
- Chain link and wrought iron must be faced with something 18″ high that the tortoise cannot see through.
- For NNV, 12”-long stakes placed in ground every 4” along perimeter to prevent digging out
- One-foot clear space around edge of the habitat for tortoise to walk
The most important feature of the habitat.
- Drainage from roof and yard will not enter burrow
- Burrow is at least 5′ from walls, sidewalks, and plants on all sides
- Burrow is located in a completely dry at least 10′ x 10′.Burrow opening faces south (or southeast or southwest) to avoid the hot summer sun.
- Burrow opening does not face east, north, or west to avoid the hot summer sun.
- Orient the burrow so that, when the tortoise extends the channel, it will not go into a wet area, the neighbor’s yard, or under your house.
In the booklet Desert Tortoises Adoption and Care, see how to build an Underground Burrow (pp 9-14), an Aboveground Burrow (p 15) and a Hatching Burrow (p 23-24). Examples of Aboveground Burrows are available.
- Build a covered Water Dish
- Put in a variety of plants from our list so that the tortoise can browse
Gate Barrier and Locking Gate
Northern Nevada Brumation Location
- A safe, indoor locations maintained at 35-50°F
- Stacked Windsor blocks are easy for tortoises to climb
- Check yard equipment, firewood, toys, etc. A tortoise can crawl under or climb up on
items and tip over or get stuck. This can easily lead to death.
- Modify steps and other drop-offs.
- Fence an open pool or pond
- Frisky, untrainable dogs can harm or kill a tortoise.
- Block or cover open fences (like chain link). Tortoise sticks arm in and hurts the arm or nail.
- Do not use pelletized fertilizer
- Watch for opening where a tortoise might become stuck and die in the heat
- Pick up litter