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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 41,591
Sponsored by: Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund

The federal government has revealed plans to shut down the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Nevada. This is an unsettling move that would require the removal and relocation of up to 1,400 captive desert tortoises into wild tortoise populations.

The concern is desert tortoises held in captivity are usually not equipped to survive in the wild. This also puts the wild, healthy desert tortoises at risk — as the captive population can bring disease, become a competing source for food and shelter, and attract predators.

Desert tortoises once roamed across the deserts of the Southwestern United States. In recent years, some estimates show their population has plummeted by as much as 90 percent, due to poaching, disease and habitat destruction.

Because of this rapid population decline, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center has served an important role as a place where America's displaced and injured desert tortoises could be cared for in a secure environment.

Act now! Urge Interior Secretary Jewell to help prevent a catastrophe for these threatened animals – and find a way to keep this center open.

Sign Here

Dear Secretary Jewell,

Please direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to keep the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center near Las Vegas, NV open and operational for the well-being of the 1,400 threatened desert tortoises currently held there in captivity. Your agency plans to close the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center at the end of 2014 due to a reported lack of funding.

Please direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to stop releasing captive desert tortoises currently held at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center into the wild. The FWS plans to remove all desert tortoises at the Conservation Center by the time it is scheduled to close at the end of 2014.

The BLM is responsible for operating the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and the current operating budget is approximately $1 million annually. Your agency claims it can no longer provide funding to keep the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center open.

I am writing to urge you to allocate sufficient funding to maintain and operate the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center so that threatened desert tortoises held there are properly cared for and not relocated to the wild by the FWS. The BLM and FWS should also seek funding from Clark County, NV, a partner agency having an interest in the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center.

Desert tortoises at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center should not be the victims of poor budgeting and planning by the agencies.

Thank you for your consideration.

Petition Signatures

Aug 1, 2014 Sema Richards
Aug 1, 2014 Markus Brandl
Aug 1, 2014 Renee Klein Save our desert tortoises!
Aug 1, 2014 faye sawdon
Aug 1, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 1, 2014 Audra Burroughs
Aug 1, 2014 Kenneth sanchez
Aug 1, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 1, 2014 Dominique NG
Aug 1, 2014 Jennifer Ritter
Aug 1, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 1, 2014 Jennifer Birks
Aug 1, 2014 paris hatchard
Aug 1, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 1, 2014 Julie Routh
Aug 1, 2014 Adriana Aquino
Aug 1, 2014 Elena Franchi
Aug 1, 2014 James Blevins
Aug 1, 2014 Mona Smedsrud
Aug 1, 2014 Mila Oleynik
Aug 1, 2014 Melissa Troeller
Jul 31, 2014 izabela szarek
Jul 31, 2014 K Goodwin
Jul 31, 2014 Joan Sutton
Jul 31, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 31, 2014 Kat Ehret
Jul 31, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 31, 2014 Victoria Gallacher Please help save these gentle creatures!
Jul 31, 2014 susana giraudo
Jul 31, 2014 Lesley Standridge They have always been Federally Protected!!! Leave them alone, they are like the Mustangs they can fend for themselves, and deserve to be left alone!!!!
Jul 31, 2014 Jvonna Meier
Jul 31, 2014 Karin Curtis
Jul 31, 2014 Bernadette Henzi
Jul 31, 2014 Patricia Good
Jul 31, 2014 Tami Green
Jul 31, 2014 Jeni Shije
Jul 31, 2014 Wendy Cligrow
Jul 31, 2014 Hanne Lindholm
Jul 31, 2014 Caitlin DeMarco
Jul 31, 2014 Barbara Shelby I don't understand why we have to continually beg our government to do the right thing for our wildlife, our natural resources, for us. Take the money from what we give in foreign aid and invest it in our country, in our wildlife.
Jul 31, 2014 Carl Morales
Jul 31, 2014 Denise Addington
Jul 31, 2014 Shay Gough
Jul 31, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 31, 2014 Margita Barcalova
Jul 31, 2014 rhonda schadt
Jul 31, 2014 Patricia Gilpin
Jul 31, 2014 Fernanda haberman
Jul 31, 2014 Nadia Jaskiw
Jul 31, 2014 thomas endres

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