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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 41,295
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.

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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


Jul 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 29, 2014 Niharika Saxena
Jul 29, 2014 Gill Dodgson Although a resident of the UK I am behind any campaign which helps to preserve the natural biodiversity of our planet.
Jul 29, 2014 Bo Rutjes
Jul 28, 2014 Ann Larcombe
Jul 28, 2014 Huney Goh
Jul 28, 2014 Teresa Evans
Jul 28, 2014 Kat Apichachaipong
Jul 28, 2014 Lisa Peltier
Jul 28, 2014 Gracie Galindo
Jul 28, 2014 Jody Conrad
Jul 28, 2014 Liam Sauer-Wooden
Jul 28, 2014 Heather Nichol
Jul 28, 2014 Amy Vyrostek
Jul 28, 2014 christine Davies Good grief....how much 'funding' are we talking about?...does EVERYTHING on this planet have to be totally decided by the very thing that causes so much misery....MONEY?
Jul 28, 2014 Lauren Finkelstein
Jul 28, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 28, 2014 Chris Cerutti
Jul 28, 2014 Kelli Lysz
Jul 28, 2014 Gail Wanliss
Jul 28, 2014 Carol J. Loomis
Jul 28, 2014 David Laramie
Jul 28, 2014 DI Harvey Please don't stop protecting these precious creatures, it is so important to conserve our native species !
Jul 27, 2014 AKIKO SAKAGUCHI
Jul 27, 2014 Wendy Olek
Jul 27, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 27, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 27, 2014 Jocelyne FAROUAULT
Jul 27, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 27, 2014 Lavenna White
Jul 27, 2014 Kelley Griffin
Jul 27, 2014 yvonne lefevre
Jul 27, 2014 Elisabeth Björklund
Jul 26, 2014 Chelsie Sparks
Jul 26, 2014 Amanda Mikalson
Jul 26, 2014 Kim Simone
Jul 26, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 25, 2014 catherine jobling
Jul 25, 2014 michele king
Jul 25, 2014 Kristina Aguilera
Jul 25, 2014 kris gata
Jul 25, 2014 Roberta Butticci
Jul 25, 2014 vicki howard
Jul 25, 2014 kaitlin Kennedy
Jul 25, 2014 j lewthwaite
Jul 25, 2014 Nicolina Sposaro
Jul 25, 2014 Bev Johnson
Jul 25, 2014 Paula Warner
Jul 24, 2014 Tessa Knight
Jul 24, 2014 Alex Ivanovic

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