Desert Tortoise- Gopherus agassizii- L=8 and 15 inches long. The desert tortoise lives in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts and is well adapted to life in the desert. There are many plants in the desert which the desert tortoise eats: cactus, annual forbs, grasses, and wildflowers. It is estimated that many desert tortoise populations have declined at rates ranging between 3 and 59% per year due to deterioration and loss of habitat, collection for pets or other purposes, elevated levels of predation, disease, and the shortfalls of existing regulatory mechanisms to protect them and their habitat. It is unlawful to touch, harm, harass or collect a wild Desert Tortoise. Please keep your distance if you ever see a Desert Tortoise in the wild. When frightened they will empty their bladder as a defense mechanism, and the loss of water can be fatal to the tortoise.