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Center for Biological Diversity:
Desert tortoise
Las Vegas Review-Journal, June 28, 2011

Separate species of tortoise makes a name for itself in Arizona, Mexico
By Keith Rogers

The desert tortoise has crawled back into the environmental spotlight.

A study by biologists published Tuesday in the professional journal ZooKeys says there are definitely two species: one in the Mojave Desert of Southern Nevada, Southern Utah, California and the Arizona Strip and a "new" Sonoran species of Arizona and Mexico.

The paper by Robert W. Murphy and five other authors discusses the "dazed and confused" identities of the two with a description of the newly recognized species, Gopherus morafkai, or Morafka's desert tortoise, after the late desert naturalist David Morafka, who devoted much of his career to tortoise research.

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