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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 43,214
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 2, 2014 Pip Muser
Sep 2, 2014 Monica Antonio
Sep 2, 2014 Helga Preinesberger
Sep 2, 2014 Kelly Bennett
Sep 1, 2014 Heather Weitz
Sep 1, 2014 Darlene Falk
Sep 1, 2014 Alex CabreraMD
Sep 1, 2014 Alethea Leddy
Sep 1, 2014 Deyse Oliveira
Sep 1, 2014 Marian Prezyna
Sep 1, 2014 maria grazia longo
Sep 1, 2014 Martine HANS protégeons les animaux , car dans pas longtemps nous les verrons que sur photos
Sep 1, 2014 Rosalinda Rayne
Sep 1, 2014 willi grimm
Sep 1, 2014 Mandy York
Sep 1, 2014 Anna Zielinska-Hosaf
Sep 1, 2014 (Name not displayed) The proposed release of these tortoises will seriously impact both the tortoises and the ecosystem. Please stop this ill-judged plan.
Sep 1, 2014 berenice robin
Sep 1, 2014 Helga Lobinger
Aug 31, 2014 Kathleen Koob
Aug 31, 2014 deborah machado
Aug 31, 2014 Paulette Archuleta
Aug 31, 2014 irene capocefalo
Aug 31, 2014 Anne Padilla
Aug 31, 2014 Viviana Carcache
Aug 31, 2014 Georgi ana
Aug 31, 2014 kasie ribeiro
Aug 31, 2014 Cinzia Mattiace
Aug 31, 2014 cindra broenner
Aug 30, 2014 Faye Spear
Aug 30, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 30, 2014 isabelle monti
Aug 30, 2014 Margaret Fry
Aug 30, 2014 Lauren Haworth
Aug 30, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 30, 2014 Victoria Rhoades
Aug 30, 2014 Hester Goedhart
Aug 29, 2014 Christine Benz
Aug 29, 2014 Rebekah Palmer
Aug 29, 2014 jo Penston
Aug 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 29, 2014 Christine Headworth
Aug 29, 2014 Hannah Kirchmeier
Aug 29, 2014 Rena Fafalios
Aug 29, 2014 Mia Kendrick
Aug 29, 2014 Cheryl Smith
Aug 29, 2014 Ariela Schmidt
Aug 29, 2014 kaye mohammadi
Aug 28, 2014 Linda Todd

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