Mojave Max is southern Nevada's representative desert tortoise. He resides at the Red Rock visitor's center in the state park.
Desert tortoises are a threatened species in the Mojave Desert. Their habitat is subject to development and climate changes.
Las Vegas housing is affected by the federal protection of this species. Builders pay some amount per acre developed to fund a program to educate residents about the reptiles. Supposedly, if a desert tortoise walks onto a construction site all construction must stop until the proper tortoise relocation authorities arrive to remove the tortoise. There is more to developing Las Vegas real estate than one may think.
There is a program to educate youth about the animals so citizens can care for the habitat.
In the program volunteers visit elementary schools and give presentations to the children (typically 3rd graders). The children are taught to respect the animals and environment of the desert.