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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 51,651
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 23, 2014 michael piquet
Oct 23, 2014 Morena gambarelli
Oct 22, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 22, 2014 Mary Sullenberger
Oct 22, 2014 Debra Payne
Oct 22, 2014 Nathalie Buetow Please find a way to keep these guys safe! There must be a way with all the conservation nonprofits to find cooperative funding.
Oct 22, 2014 laura keiran
Oct 22, 2014 Jean Berryman My goodness, these tortoises need help! Are they just gonna turn them out into the cold cruel desert all by themselves? This is terrible! Please save the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center!
Oct 22, 2014 Brianna Collins
Oct 22, 2014 Shaant Mathur
Oct 22, 2014 Dawn Kerner
Oct 22, 2014 B Little
Oct 22, 2014 Ethel Parker
Oct 22, 2014 Carol Borham
Oct 21, 2014 Patty Earnest Protect the tortoises!
Oct 21, 2014 ibi krausz
Oct 21, 2014 Diana Cunningham
Oct 21, 2014 Gina Caracci
Oct 21, 2014 arleen zniga Thank you for your consideration of this action
Oct 21, 2014 Michele O'Connor
Oct 21, 2014 Carla Pratas
Oct 21, 2014 Sandra Houghton Hall
Oct 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 21, 2014 barb pesta
Oct 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 21, 2014 debra espinoza
Oct 21, 2014 Anna Clavin
Oct 20, 2014 Leslie Venezio
Oct 20, 2014 Holly Eve Genovese
Oct 20, 2014 Joan Woodland
Oct 20, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 20, 2014 kj martinez
Oct 20, 2014 Linda Ouellet
Oct 20, 2014 Michael Haskell
Oct 20, 2014 victoria murray
Oct 20, 2014 Niki Kristina
Oct 20, 2014 Jennifer Welch
Oct 20, 2014 jim schaefer
Oct 20, 2014 D D REDMAN
Oct 20, 2014 Laura Jardine
Oct 20, 2014 Donna R. D'Fini Please consider the scientific necessity of keeping conservation areas for the Desert Tortoise as well as all other wild creatures which have lived on these areas. It is a special and important part of your activities. We need a UN of conservation!
Oct 20, 2014 Siobhan Lee Why is the fish and wildlife dept. so short sighted. It should be doing its utmost to preserve the wildlife of America not destroy it. Shame, shame, shame
Oct 20, 2014 Patricia Bacon
Oct 20, 2014 melissa skye
Oct 20, 2014 suzanne Horrocks
Oct 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 19, 2014 Thomaz de Aquino Alves Fonseca
Oct 19, 2014 Rebecca Mills
Oct 19, 2014 D. Wiese Jones

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