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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 51,721
Sponsored by: Defenders of Wildlife

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

Oct 31, 2014 Morgan Boots
Oct 30, 2014 Patricia Stubble
Oct 30, 2014 kim haling
Oct 30, 2014 Davinia Bleijenberg
Oct 30, 2014 dr vipul dave
Oct 30, 2014 Doreen Catuara
Oct 30, 2014 heidi rodriguez
Oct 29, 2014 Joyce Angleberger
Oct 29, 2014 susan mazey
Oct 29, 2014 Eileen Bower
Oct 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 29, 2014 Christiane Santos
Oct 29, 2014 hanh doan
Oct 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 28, 2014 MICHELE ALDAO
Oct 28, 2014 Ashley Chirolde
Oct 28, 2014 Jean Evans
Oct 28, 2014 pattianne pascual
Oct 28, 2014 gabi blau
Oct 27, 2014 Sheena Warren
Oct 27, 2014 Katherine Proulx
Oct 27, 2014 Anna Veronica Clifford When we have driven a species onto an endangered list it is our responsibility to keep them alive and protect them.
Oct 27, 2014 Debbie Bunn
Oct 27, 2014 Margaret Fitch
Oct 27, 2014 Cindy Rosmus
Oct 27, 2014 Gregor Resch Let's help these animals.
Oct 26, 2014 Katie Hourahan
Oct 26, 2014 Shelby Burris
Oct 26, 2014 Judith Knouff
Oct 26, 2014 sylvie agusti
Oct 26, 2014 Anne Bond
Oct 26, 2014 Marissa C
Oct 26, 2014 Paula Alcoseba
Oct 25, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 25, 2014 Gayle Blakeslee
Oct 25, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 25, 2014 Christina Platou
Oct 24, 2014 Pat Tierney
Oct 24, 2014 Ann Low
Oct 24, 2014 Nancy Black
Oct 24, 2014 Ann Garner
Oct 24, 2014 Carol Ignaczak
Oct 24, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 24, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 24, 2014 Karen Netzer
Oct 24, 2014 Judy Burke
Oct 24, 2014 Sarah McLaughlin
Oct 24, 2014 Susannah Martin
Oct 24, 2014 susan white
Oct 24, 2014 donna crescioli

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