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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 52,015
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

Nov 24, 2014 miceu tavares
Nov 24, 2014 Sevda Karagedik
Nov 24, 2014 Hana Cernochova
Nov 23, 2014 Renee Burkhead
Nov 23, 2014 DILIA GOMEZ
Nov 23, 2014 alessandra farris
Nov 23, 2014 christa pellikaan
Nov 22, 2014 Steve Paxton
Nov 22, 2014 Gary Hill
Nov 22, 2014 Monica Rogers
Nov 22, 2014 Maribel Ortega
Nov 22, 2014 Debra Trueblood Thank you for reading my letter
Nov 22, 2014 Olivia Petty
Nov 22, 2014 Florencia Ferrero Motta
Nov 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 21, 2014 Shari Humphrey
Nov 21, 2014 Theresa Zöller
Nov 21, 2014 Agnès LEGRAND
Nov 21, 2014 Angel Neubauer
Nov 21, 2014 Susana Balboa
Nov 21, 2014 Marisela Vega
Nov 21, 2014 Judy Malone Please take care of these tortoises. You have had all of this time to find them new homes (able to take care of homes). This is your job. Do it!
Nov 21, 2014 Taggart Howland
Nov 21, 2014 DAVID ROSS
Nov 21, 2014 Ruth Ann Wiesenthal-Gold
Nov 21, 2014 Emilie Schaumburg
Nov 21, 2014 Barbara Arnold
Nov 21, 2014 jigyasa bhatnagar
Nov 21, 2014 Jeanine Mielke
Nov 21, 2014 Diane Williford
Nov 21, 2014 Anirban Ash
Nov 21, 2014 Lynne Cruz
Nov 20, 2014 Jeremy Bailey
Nov 20, 2014 Sarah wabason
Nov 19, 2014 Lisa Perry
Nov 19, 2014 Anna Tolmacheva
Nov 19, 2014 Jessica Edwards
Nov 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 19, 2014 Marissa Embry
Nov 19, 2014 Hieu Buu
Nov 18, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 18, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 17, 2014 Eve Miya
Nov 17, 2014 roxanne daus
Nov 17, 2014 scott wakerley
Nov 17, 2014 D.J. Miller
Nov 17, 2014 Jennifer Rusak
Nov 17, 2014 Pauline Köhler
Nov 17, 2014 donnell brake
Nov 17, 2014 laura brown

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