Past Meetings


Posted by Sue on November 3, 2018 at 9:10 PM

Meeting started at 7:30 p.m. with eleven attendees.

There were newcomers again at this month’s meeting, so everyone introduced themselves & mentioned if they had tortoises, wanted to adopt or needed more information on tortoises in general.

Important November Meeting Date & Time Change: We will combine our meeting with the Kerncrest Audubon Society on Thursday, November 8th at 7:00 p.m. at the Maturango Museum. We are fortunate to be able to hear a lecture from the Biologist from the China Lake Navy Base who will talk about tortoises & other wildlife.

Adoptions: Bob has adopted out all females held as of today. He took in a couple of males, four still on site.
A new attendee, Mr. Hudson, who has lived in the Ridgecrest area for 66 years, wanted to find out if anyone wanted to adopt any of his tortoises. He said he had about eleven tortoises -- four big females, three small ones & four hatchlings. He has owned one of his tortoises, named Snoopy, for 35 years. Bob said he will help adopt out his tortoises when they come out of brumation in the spring.

General meeting topics:  Membership renewals are due. Several members paid their renewal dues.
There are three tortoises now in the Maturango Museum enclosure. Bob took out a female that was sick, & unfortunately she died. Bob repaired burrow holes there, but the tortoises built another burrow. Bob is still feeding them, but they are not as active now.

An interesting fact is that temperatures affect the eggs. Within a certain warm temperature range, female tortoises develop; &, where it’s colder, male tortoises develop.

Bob is working on an informational kiosk. They need steel mounts. Someone suggested Skip Gorman could help, but to first talk to Peter Wiley.

Pamphlets were available for members and visitors.

Treasurer’s Report: The club has approximately $5,200 in its account.

The CTTC Executive Board meeting will be on Saturday 13th in Arcadia. A $2 million-dollar gift was given to the club to be divided among the chapters. Bob is on the investment committee. Most of the money is invested so it earns quite a bit in interest. Possible ways to use the money would be a small scholarship for Cerro Coso biology students. We are open for ideas. We've already recieved $1,500 for our club use. It will go toward the kiosks.

Power Point Presentation: “The Sulcata Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata) – and Other Exotics." Bob presented the program. Some exotics you should not buy, for example, are red-eared sliders. You can get them free. Some are released by owners & become pests. You cannot buy tortoises under 4” long.

Other turtles & tortoises mentioned: U.S. Box Turtles (Ornate) expand their range through flash floods. --- Eastern Box Turtles. --- Russian Tortoises have similarities to desert tortoises. They like to escape enclosures. --- Red-Footed Tortoises are popular. They are omnivorous. --- Pyramiding (a bumpy shell) means the tortoise does not have a good diet. --- Leopard Tortoises are from Africa. They don’t dig. They are vegetarian & have short legs. They like grasses, savannahs. --- Sulcatas are from Sahel (belt) Africa. The Sahel is about 3,400 miles long & 650 miles wide. They live wild in Texas, Arizona & California. They like their burrows where it is moist. They are known to brumate even though information on the internet says they do not. Here in Ridgecrest they may come up in the winter once a week for food. Importation of Sulcatas ended in 2000. ---

One example of building a tortoise fence is using grape stakes. Hammer the stakes vertically next to each other into the ground to make a solid fence.

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