Desert tortoises to be slaughtered by their own refuge as BLM closes Vegas rescue center due to budget cuts.

by on August 27, 2013 · 4 comments

in Economy, Environment

Desert Turtle USFWS

Desert Turtle – [Image courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.]

Government plans to euthanize hundreds of desert tortoises after budget cuts to refuge

By George Chidi / The Raw Story / August 25, 2013

A combination of federal budget austerity and the dramatic decline of the Nevada housing market may claim some unlikely victims: desert tortoises.

The Desert Tortoise Conservation Center — a 23-year-old federal refuge in Las Vegas for the threatened species — has collected only $290,000 from its primary funding source of local developer fees over the last 11 months, the AP reports. The center can’t count on the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or Nevada Department of Wildlife to make up the shortfall on the center’s $1 million annual operating budget because of federal and state budget constraints.

The result? Center administrators are planning to close the 220-acre facility in 2014 and euthanize about half of the 1400 tortoises under their protection, the AP reports. No more than 100,000 of the desert tortoises are believed to exist in the wild. Most of the tortoises there are former pets returned to their habitat once the government classified the species as threatened — one step short of endangered. And most are too feeble to be returned to the wild, the AP reports.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Susie August 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Call Steve R. In OB, he likes tortoises


Kathy August 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm

why don’t they offer them for sale and send them out with instructions for care. This is ridiculous. If they were pets already, why not again. We are having problems all over our area with the government wanting to declare species as endangered. What sense does it make to declare things threatened or endangered and then kill large numbers. What about all the money spent on sea turtles. Crazy, crazy, crazy


Doug August 28, 2013 at 6:34 am

But the President can afford to bomb Syria and give trillions to the bankers.


Mary Lou St. Lucas August 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

We had two of these when I was growing up. They were wonderful pets. I’d love to rescue a pair. This is so sad.


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