Secretary of the Interior
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W. / Washington DC 20240
A new threat to the desert tortoise's habitat is a series of proposed- wind and solar farms. Solar energy companies have been making plans for huge projects in the desert regions of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah- covering 2% of the area of the Sonoran and Mohave deserts- or enough to cover the state of Rhode Island with solar power plants nearly three times.
The desert tortoise was already threatened before this massive project by deterioration and loss of habitat, collection for pets and other purposes, vandalism, elevated levels of predation, loss of desert tortoises from disease, and and habitat conversion from invasive plant species.
List the desert tortoise as endangered, giving it full protection of the Endangered Species Act. Desert tortoise populations in some areas have declined by as much as 90% since the 1980s and the Mojove population is listed as threatened, but not the Soronan desert tortoise. Recently, on the basis of DNA, geographic, and behavioral differences between desert tortoises east and west of the Colorado River, it was decided that two species of desert tortoses exist. Please list them both.