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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 43,544
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

Sep 16, 2014 Martha Hildreth
Sep 15, 2014 Victoria Mikhaylov
Sep 15, 2014 Kimberly allen
Sep 15, 2014 Melody Halligan Atrocity, is what this is! Ban this forever!
Sep 15, 2014 Evelyn Mayo
Sep 15, 2014 alicia ramos
Sep 14, 2014 Ann Appleton
Sep 14, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 14, 2014 Kimberly Calvert
Sep 14, 2014 ciszak anthony
Sep 13, 2014 Shannon Groseclose
Sep 13, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 13, 2014 Rim Reborn
Sep 13, 2014 Denise Payne
Sep 12, 2014 hale ebrahimi
Sep 12, 2014 susana soares
Sep 12, 2014 alejandra garay
Sep 12, 2014 Terese Frank
Sep 12, 2014 Audrey Elicerio
Sep 12, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 12, 2014 Leslie Zerman
Sep 12, 2014 Beate Schoen
Sep 12, 2014 Nancy Nolan
Sep 12, 2014 Silvia Wolff
Sep 11, 2014 shannon snider
Sep 11, 2014 Linda Corcoran
Sep 10, 2014 Cati Patricio
Sep 10, 2014 Elizabeth Child
Sep 10, 2014 (Name not displayed) Keep the center open, and help save the tortoise.
Sep 10, 2014 Wendy King We MUST SAVE our endangered species and all animals! If we do not, who will!! Don't make it hard to SAVE our inhabitants, who need our help and are meant to be here! PLEASE? Thank You! X
Sep 10, 2014 Caroline Maurinier
Sep 10, 2014 Joanna Reynoso
Sep 10, 2014 Ashley Johnson
Sep 10, 2014 Leslie Yergeau
Sep 10, 2014 catarina cruz
Sep 9, 2014 naydu montealegre
Sep 9, 2014 JoAnn Herald
Sep 9, 2014 Loba Moon
Sep 9, 2014 marion dabruzzi
Sep 9, 2014 sandra fellner
Sep 9, 2014 Amanda Curtin
Sep 9, 2014 Tina Orolin
Sep 9, 2014 Darla Kravetz
Sep 9, 2014 Ann-Louise Truschel Once they're gone, they're gone forever. Don't be responsible for that.
Sep 9, 2014 Natacha LEVARAY
Sep 9, 2014 Lisa Lacatena
Sep 9, 2014 dawn sartori
Sep 9, 2014 debrah dillard
Sep 9, 2014 Judit Kacso
Sep 9, 2014 Robert McElroy

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