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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 41,249
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

Jul 25, 2014 Bev Johnson
Jul 25, 2014 Paula Warner
Jul 24, 2014 Tessa Knight
Jul 24, 2014 Alex Ivanovic
Jul 24, 2014 jamie mclaren
Jul 24, 2014 Genevieve Dawson
Jul 24, 2014 carissa manzo
Jul 24, 2014 jean yves lefevre
Jul 24, 2014 Stephanie Corrales
Jul 24, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 24, 2014 Jennifer Gaffney
Jul 24, 2014 April Lerche
Jul 24, 2014 Karen Wood
Jul 24, 2014 Desiree Hermans
Jul 24, 2014 Marta Dziemidowicz
Jul 24, 2014 Kevin Lyerla
Jul 24, 2014 Rachel Berg Do not imperile the lives of these Tortoises by shoving them into the wild.This country's govt. has been abusing animals for centuries.The US Army almost put the Buffalo out of existence.Protect the animals--we owe them that.
Jul 24, 2014 Gino Tarabotto
Jul 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 23, 2014 Laura Horning
Jul 23, 2014 (Name not displayed) Please keep the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center near Las Vegas, NV open! Save the tortoises!
Jul 23, 2014 Kelly Floro
Jul 23, 2014 Corey mcaninch
Jul 23, 2014 Dawn West
Jul 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 23, 2014 Kimberly LaMont
Jul 23, 2014 Gina Chase
Jul 23, 2014 francis liong Let us not forget that they were here before us and inhabited this planet without any problem.They deserve to be protected since human started destroying their habitat.What a shame.
Jul 23, 2014 Mr AND Mrs. Metzler
Jul 23, 2014 Kathleen Collins
Jul 23, 2014 mel lee
Jul 23, 2014 celine zini
Jul 23, 2014 Rianna Murphy
Jul 23, 2014 Yvette Meraz
Jul 23, 2014 Dragana Stajic
Jul 23, 2014 Sachini Hulugalle
Jul 22, 2014 Britany Bekina
Jul 22, 2014 Nancy Hudson
Jul 22, 2014 Kerry MacGregor
Jul 22, 2014 Simona Bergman
Jul 22, 2014 Kelly Carpenter
Jul 22, 2014 Rhonda Rowland
Jul 22, 2014 Yvonne Jung
Jul 21, 2014 Zan Ellery
Jul 21, 2014 Mia Dravis
Jul 21, 2014 Nora Spielman
Jul 21, 2014 Edward Janus
Jul 21, 2014 Donna Wolf Please help these unique creatures remain as a solid presence on this planet for many more years to come!
Jul 21, 2014 Alina Chechik

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