Target: Angie Covert, Senior Research Coordinator at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center
Goal: To prevent the euthanization of nearly 1,400 Desert Tortoises.
The Desert Tortoise Conservation Center (DTCC) in Las Vegas is preparing to shut down due to lack of federal funds. Unfortunately, the closure of the conservation center means an upward of 1,400 tortoises will have to be euthanized over the course of next year. The tortoises that seem healthy enough are being released back into wild, but the Desert Tortoise has been on the endangered species list since 1990, and without the DTCC to care for them they will likely become extinct. We should urge the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center to take an alternative action to prevent a mass killing of the Desert Tortoise.
The Desert Tortoise has a very slow reproductive rate, but used to be so prevalent in the desert that many tourists and hikers would often take one from the wild and keep it as a pet. However, during the 2000’s housing boom in Nevada, the amount of natural habitat land being taken up for homes quickly raised, and the Desert Tortoise numbers quickly declined. In response, the Bureau of Land Management supplied the funds to operate the holding facility and research center of the DTCC, through fees placed on housing developers who wanted to build near natural habitat on public land. Since the recent decline in the housing market, however, the funds to run the center are dwindling fast as well.
By signing the petition below, you will show that people care about the Desert Tortoise, and planned euthanizations are unacceptable as a solution to a funding problem. The current funds required to run the DTCC is about one-million a year, which is a large sum of money, but for such a wealthy city as Las Vegas, the price is small at the cost of running a species into extinction.
Dear Angie Covert,
I am writing to you today about the recent news that has come out regarding the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center’s lack of funds. While I understand that DTCC is costly to run and your federal funding has just about vanished, the planned euthanization of hundreds of the endangered species is unruly. The Desert Tortoise is a beautiful creature, who has survived so long despite some rather lacking evolutionary traits. For them to become extinct over a lack of funds in one of our nation’s most wealthiest cities is absolutely unacceptable. I urge you to do whatever you can to continue operating the DTCC.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: mikebaird via Flickr