Fact Sheet
Mojave
bighorn sheep, © David Lamfrom
Mojave, © Chip Carroon

Basic Facts about Mojave

The Mojave region contains some of America’s most recognized and ecologically significant desert landscape.

Located in southeastern California and southern Nevada, the area comprises approximately 30 million acres of land, including the California portion of the Sonoran Desert. One of the most famous areas within the Mojave is Death Valley – the lowest, hottest and driest place in North America. But the arid Mojave holds much more than just the highest temperatures reported in the world. This landscape is noted for its diversity of landforms (dunes, playas, arroyos, buttes and basins to name a few), habitats and biological resources. 

Did You Know?

Many desert-dwelling animals have special adaptations for living in their harsh habitat. Desert bighorn sheep, for example, can go for weeks without water and bounce back quickly from dehydration.

It is perhaps because the Mojave’s climate is so inhospitable to humans that the region has remained in a largely natural condition. Two recent studies  have found that around three-quarters of the land in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts are important for wildlife and are largely intact with little disturbance from human activities, making this area one of the least disturbed ecoregions in the United States.  

Though humans have difficulty living in this region, many other species of wildlife thrive in the extreme temperatures and geographical features that characterize the Mojave. The California deserts contain 2,341 known native plant species, or 37 percent of the state’s entire flora, including the rugged Crucifixion thorn and delicate Ghost Flower. Likewise, the desert tortoise, horned lizard, Mojave fringe-toed lizard, gold eagle, Mojave ground squirrel, bighorn sheep, several riparian birds and many other species of wildlife all call the Mojave home.

Did You Know?

The name “Mojave” or “Mohave” comes from the Native American tribes who lived in the region and translates roughly to “the people who live beside the water,” meaning the Colorado River.

A large percentage of the lands in the region are under federal ownership and managed by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and Department of Defense. Ash Meadows, including Devil’s Hole, located in southern Nevada, supports 24 endemic species, all of which are federally listed as Endangered or Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

More on Mojave: Threats to Mojave »