The San Diego Habitat Conservancy and the San Diego Zoo Global will be participating in a newly formed desert tortoise conservation bank which is located on 7,400 acres of private land in Eastern San Bernardino County owned by the Cadiz land and water development company.
The Fenner Desert Tortoise Conservation Bank will provide permanent protection of the hard-shelled reptiles which are both a State of California and federally listed threatened species.
The undeveloped properties enrolled in the Fenner Bank are located in the Mojave Desert near the Mojave National Preserve and the Nevada border in an area designated by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service as Desert Tortoise Critical Habitat. The Bank will be the largest-ever land bank approved for the protection of the desert tortoises by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
In addition to wildlife goodwill, the Fenner Conservation Bank also gives Cadiz offset credits to pursue upcoming projects, including renewable energy ones (we’re thinking solar).
The Bank land will be permanently protected and managed in perpetuity by the San Diego Habitat Conservancy. The San Diego Zoo Global is on board to provide long-term species on the tortoise which is the largest terrestrial turtle in the United States and is a keystone species in the Mojave Desert ecosystem.
We are sure the Zoo team will be spending much of their time exploring the underground burrow network where the solitary beastie spends up to 95 percent of its time.