Hardy souls willing to trek in the early morning heat of May with a slight chance of finding a desert tortoise can join leader Laurie Nessel as we traverse steep, rocky hillsides searching for tortoises that emerge during the arid fore-summer. Just about all tortoises surface to replenish their water reserves after an iconic monsoon storm. But some tortoises, notably females and juveniles, will emerge in late spring, or even during winter rain days, to feed, bask and drink if possible. This will be a first time spring tortoise trip for MAS. We will cover the behavior, life cycle, and status of this keystone species. Bring snacks, sun protection, hat, sturdy hiking shoes, a high power flashlight or mirror and plenty of water. Start near daybreak and return by noon.
Difficulty: 4 (steep, rocky terrain, and hot weather)
Leader: Laurie Nessel, email@example.com or 602.391.4303.