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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 52,172
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

Dec 21, 2014 Diana Wallace
Dec 21, 2014 catherine anderson
Dec 21, 2014 Nicole Blawusch
Dec 21, 2014 M McCabe
Dec 20, 2014 barbara lilly
Dec 20, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Dec 20, 2014 CiCi Cheong
Dec 20, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Dec 20, 2014 lorraie foster
Dec 20, 2014 shannon sharp
Dec 19, 2014 sharon coughlin
Dec 18, 2014 Rhonda Rowland
Dec 18, 2014 emanuela truzzi
Dec 18, 2014 Laura Tysinger
Dec 17, 2014 Bina Israni
Dec 17, 2014 elizabeth madanelo
Dec 17, 2014 Tamara Rudic
Dec 17, 2014 Linda Hancock
Dec 17, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Dec 17, 2014 Lori Shimabukuro
Dec 17, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Dec 17, 2014 Madeleine Larsson
Dec 16, 2014 Deanna Gentle
Dec 16, 2014 Justina Lane
Dec 16, 2014 Theresa Leon-Espinoza
Dec 16, 2014 Karolina Tesarek
Dec 15, 2014 Darlene Skura Tortoises are precious.
Dec 15, 2014 Lynn Webber
Dec 15, 2014 Katherine Hernandez
Dec 15, 2014 Beverly Payton
Dec 14, 2014 betty storey
Dec 14, 2014 Lee-Ann Kasey
Dec 14, 2014 Abby Parker
Dec 14, 2014 Rita Pirouet
Dec 14, 2014 Sabine Danelon
Dec 13, 2014 Maja W
Dec 13, 2014 Liz Berry
Dec 13, 2014 Lisa Stout
Dec 13, 2014 Mark McIntyre
Dec 13, 2014 Eileen Anderson
Dec 13, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Dec 13, 2014 Patricia Williams
Dec 13, 2014 Sabine Danelon
Dec 12, 2014 Gina Freitas
Dec 12, 2014 C Hill
Dec 12, 2014 Jean Cortes
Dec 11, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Dec 11, 2014 GLORIA TRINKA
Dec 11, 2014 Cathy King

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