Turtles and Tortoises

Turtles and tortoises comprise the order Testudines. Unique among the vertebrates, these reptiles are covered by a bony shell that is fused with the spine. Six species are native to Arizona, only two may be seen around Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well National Monuments.
Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise

Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

This tortoise inhabits Arizona Upland Sonoran Desertscrub and Mohave Desertscrub. Mostly found on bajadas and hillsides. The Desert Tortoise shelters from the extreme heat of the summer and the cold of winter in burrows it excavates below rocks, boulders, or vegetation. Primary food consists of grass, herbs, forbs, trees, shrubs, and succulents. They are listed as Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Sonora Mud Turtle
Sonora Mud Turtle

Sonora Mud Turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense)

This mud turtle lives in rocky streams, creeks, and rivers ranging from Lower Colorado River to Petran Montane Conifer Forest. Mostly active during the day in the spring and fall seasons and at night during the hot summer months. Forages on the bottom of pools searching for insects, snails, fish, frogs, and some plants. May emit an unpleasant odor when disturbed.

Last updated: February 2, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P. O. Box 219
Camp Verde, AZ 86322


928 567-3322

Contact Us