Save the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center




The Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas says it must euthanize half of the endangered desert tortoises that it cares for as federal funding dries up.






The conservation center is a 220-acre holding and research facility that has been supported with funds from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), through fees from developers who have disturbed the tortoise's habitat on public lands.






The recession resulted in a shrinking of the housing market; only $290,000 in federal mitigation fees from developers came in to the conservation center in the past 11 months. With the BLM and local government running short on funds, the center is to be closed by the end of 2014.

Desert tortoises are an endangered species that were once so plentiful in the American Southwest that tourists driving through the desert picked them up to take home as pets. Since the 1980s, habitat destruction, urbanization and disease resulted in the tortoise's numbers dwindling by 90 percent. In 1990, the Fish and Wildlife Service proclaimed the tortoise a threatened species. An estimated 100,000 tortoises now survive in Utah, California, Arizona and Nevada.

 

Help save hundreds of tortoises from euthanization and tell the BLM not to close the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center!
Dear Officials at the Bureau of Land Management,

We, the undersigned, ask that you adequately fund the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas and prevent it from closing in 2014.


Desert tortoises are an endangered species that were once so plentiful in the American Southwest that tourists driving through the desert picked them up to take home as pets. Since the 1980s, habitat destruction, urbanization and disease resulted in the tortoise's numbers dwindling by 90 percent. In 1990, the Fish and Wildlife Service proclaimed the tortoise a threatened species. An estimated 100,000 tortoises now survive in Utah, California, Arizona and Nevada.

The Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas has recently announced that it must euthanize half of the endangered desert tortoises that it cares for as federal funding dries up.  


It is imperative that the Conservation Center not be closed and that so many endangered desert tortoises not be needlessly killed. Even more, the Center must receive adequate federal funding as its closure could well mean the disappearance of the desert tortoise forever. 

We ask that you ensure that the Center receive funding so that it can continue to do the important work that it has been doing.


Thank you very much.
 
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