The Texas tortoise, Gopherus berlandier, is a native tortoise to south Texas and the northern regions of Mexico. It is a protected species in Texas and is currently listed as state threatened with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Decades of illegal collection and breeding of tortoises has resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of Texas tortoises in captivity. Escaped or released tortoises often wind up far outside of their natural range and many are encountered in inappropriate habitat for the species. The Houston Zoo has partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Gladys Porter Zoo to help implement an awareness campaign in south Texas. We have created brochures in English and Spanish that are distributed across this area in state parks, zoos, and environmental education centers.
How You Can Help
- Get Informed: download the Texas Tortoise Brochure in either English or Spanish. Texas Tortoise Brochure, English Version Texas Tortoise Brochure, Spanish Version
- Are you an educator? Download these speaking points and classroom activities in either English or Spanish to help raise awareness and save the tortoise! Texas Tortoise Speaking Points, English Version Texas Tortoise Speaking Points, Spanish Version
- Donate to the Houston Zoo’s conservation programs to contribute crucial funding to this projects and others that make a difference for animals in Texas and around the world