Mojave Max officially emerged from his burrow Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 1:28 pm. The earliest he has emerged was Feb. 14, 2005, at 11:55 a.m. The latest he has emerged is April 17, 2012, at 12:41 pm.

Mojave Max is a live desert tortoise who calls the Las Vegas Springs Preserve his home. Like other Southern Nevada reptiles, he enters a burrow to brumate (the reptilian form of hibernation) every winter and emerges every spring. Mojave Max’s emergence marks the beginning of spring-like weather in Southern Nevada. Warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours and his own internal clock are factors known to contribute to his emergence every year.

As part of the 20th annual Mojave Max Emergence Contest, students from Clark County, Nevada have been studying Mojave Desert weather, temperatures and conditions to scientifically estimate when they believed Mojave Max would emerge from his burrow in 2019. They entered their guesses online at The entries are being tabulated and the official winner of the Mojave Max Emergence Contest will be announced soon.  The winning student will receive prizes including an “America the Beautiful” year-long pass to National Parks and Federal Recreation areas, a year-long family pass to Springs Preserve and a laptop computer. The winner’s entire class will receive a field trip, with a pizza party, to Mojave Max’s habitat, Mojave Max Olympic-style medals and T-shirts, while the winner’s teacher will receive a laptop computer.

The Emergence Contest has taken place every year since 2000. Over 7,000 emergence contest guesses were received during this year’s Emergence Contest.