May has been our busiest month yet! We’ve been out in the field every week, working across four different states (Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona)! Even though I’m stationed in Henderson, NV, I have spent the least amount of time working in the field actually in the state of Nevada. This month I did get to help out with a project here in southern Nevada, at a location we call “Coyote Springs”. Every month we’ve been going out doing vegetation surveys at Coyote Springs at locations that are in both burned and unburned areas. A team of researchers from our office has been working on translocating desert tortoises to Coyote Springs this season, and our vegetation surveys are useful in seeing how much forage material is available for tortoises at different areas of the site.
On one particular day I had a very exciting encounter at Coyote Springs – we were driving along one of the dirt roads to get to a survey point when we spotted a desert tortoise in the road! This desert tortoise was “wild”, not one of the ones that were translocated to the site. Since she was in the road and we had to continue driving down the road, I had the opportunity to put on some gloves and move her gently off the road. This was my first desert tortoise siting! It’s pretty funny that I hadn’t seen one yet because there are so many researchers at our office that study and track desert tortoises, and they get to see them every day.
Next week I’ll be heading back to Coyote Springs for another week of surveying – temperatures are continuing to rise (this week it was over 100 degrees for a few days in a row!) but we’ll keep up with field work for another few weeks.
Until next time! Thanks for reading!
Las Vegas Field Office, USGS