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Goal: 50,000 Progress: 31,756
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


Apr 18, 2014 Lisa Rex
Apr 18, 2014 Kathryn Shipman
Apr 18, 2014 paloma Gómez Alfonso
Apr 17, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 17, 2014 Kathleen Chellman
Apr 17, 2014 Robin Layman-Atkins
Apr 17, 2014 nettie priem
Apr 17, 2014 Sally Cartmell
Apr 17, 2014 darcy cayre
Apr 17, 2014 Richard Kelly
Apr 17, 2014 LIBERA THORNTON AS ALL ANIMALS BLESS & SAVE THESE TORTOISE'S PLEASE
Apr 17, 2014 Debbie Moore
Apr 17, 2014 elisa rodriguez
Apr 17, 2014 Christy Miles
Apr 17, 2014 Krystie Addison
Apr 17, 2014 Katariina Rantala
Apr 17, 2014 Joy Schochet Closing the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center would be a disaster and probably a death warrant for many of the captive (and wild) tortoises. Please do not carry out this plan; it is seriously misguided. You can find funds for this important place.
Apr 16, 2014 Riley Gill
Apr 16, 2014 steve tonett
Apr 16, 2014 Charles Lee
Apr 16, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2014 Joanne M
Apr 16, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2014 Eva Yeskin
Apr 16, 2014 Romalue Keith
Apr 16, 2014 alexandra saunders
Apr 16, 2014 Felicia Frestan
Apr 16, 2014 sandra carroll it would be criminal not to help these tortoises!!!!!!
Apr 16, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2014 David Booher
Apr 16, 2014 Lenore Tarmin How could you ???
Apr 16, 2014 carole sherman
Apr 16, 2014 dominique françoise weber respect the nature and the desert tortoises!
Apr 16, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2014 Nichole Morrow
Apr 16, 2014 Dodie Shepard
Apr 16, 2014 chris Miller
Apr 16, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2014 Elissa Wagner
Apr 16, 2014 Mox Ruge
Apr 16, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2014 Donna Dente
Apr 16, 2014 patricia holbrook Please we need to save these magnificent creatures. If they go it won't be long before we all go. We need each other.
Apr 16, 2014 Adrian Lay
Apr 16, 2014 Christine Pritchard AS LONG AS THERE IS ANIMAL CRUELTY WE MUST ALL KEEP FIGHTING – WE ARE THEIR VOICE
Apr 16, 2014 Mary T. Scislowicz
Apr 16, 2014 lisa morrow
Apr 15, 2014 Michelle van Soelen
Apr 15, 2014 Hanna Maier
Apr 15, 2014 Brittini Rinehart

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