Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Training helps keep desert tortoises safe

A few hours of training have gone a long way towards protecting the federally threatened desert tortoise in California's San Bernadino County. On Interstate 15 and other highway-construction sites next to desert-tortoise habitat, the California Department of Transportation briefed contractors on the importance of doing these simple things to protect the tortoises: keeping garbage cans tightly closed and emptying trash regularly (ravens - the major predator of desert tortoises - are attracted to garbage) ...avoiding handling the tortoises (handling can cause the animals to dehydrate and die)...frequently checking under vehicles and equipment ...carefully checking potential excavation "traps" ...prohibiting pets at the project sites...and putting up temporary fencing to keep tortoises away from heavy machinery or activities that could injure them.
--Apr 25, 2003

Rose Melgoza, (909) 383-6477 or

Desert tortoise
Photo by William Boarman
Desert tortoise

Along Roads - California
Updated: 12/12/2012
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000