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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 43,033
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

Aug 20, 2014 Madi Mehrad
Aug 20, 2014 Marla Mize
Aug 20, 2014 Caroline Constantinou
Aug 19, 2014 Emelia Jones
Aug 19, 2014 Cindy MACDONALD
Aug 19, 2014 whitanee Hongpromyat
Aug 19, 2014 cernat gabriela of
Aug 19, 2014 Jana Leighton
Aug 19, 2014 Margaret Higgins
Aug 19, 2014 (Name not displayed) Do the right thing. Save the creatures of this planet!
Aug 19, 2014 alejandra morales
Aug 19, 2014 Cindy Araya
Aug 19, 2014 Peggy Royal Please help them, they certainly can't help themselves.
Aug 19, 2014 Kathy Snawder
Aug 19, 2014 Maryann Thompson
Aug 19, 2014 Cindy Johnson
Aug 19, 2014 Ellen McQuillin
Aug 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 19, 2014 Myriam ROBERT
Aug 19, 2014 anne carlson
Aug 19, 2014 Susan Traver
Aug 19, 2014 Susan Traver
Aug 19, 2014 yvonne lenegar the helpers are not the place to cut its the breeders not the ones who save animals step up the help for the rescues and cut the breeding thats the first step
Aug 19, 2014 Michelle Lamm Desert Tortoises need and deserve our protection. They are one of a few species that have remained largely unchanged since prehistoric times. Please keep the Conservation Center open and funded!!
Aug 19, 2014 Janet Starkey
Aug 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 19, 2014 LaDawn Woodard
Aug 19, 2014 Patricia Jewell
Aug 19, 2014 Judy Schultz
Aug 19, 2014 Pamela Lassiter
Aug 19, 2014 Rosemary S.
Aug 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 19, 2014 William Woodham
Aug 19, 2014 Karen Giles
Aug 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 19, 2014 Ivonne Sanchez
Aug 19, 2014 Noemi Tello
Aug 19, 2014 stacy foley We should use our money here instead of sending it to other countries.
Aug 19, 2014 Nghia Ho
Aug 19, 2014 (Name not displayed) If we don't care, who will???
Aug 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 19, 2014 Melinda Sabo
Aug 19, 2014 Gloria Ettling
Aug 19, 2014 Pam Wagner
Aug 19, 2014 Tina Richards Please leave the tortoises be...
Aug 19, 2014 Lisa Haut
Aug 19, 2014 Linda L Hudye It is up to each and everyone of us to care for and protect all those Living animals, turtles, birds, wolves,...who cannot speak for themselves.
Aug 19, 2014 Chloe Cookson

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