Desert Tortoises: Under Siege Again!

photo, picture California Desert Tortoise

photo, picture California Desert Tortoise

In a mid-May 2009 blog post, I reported on California’s Fort Irwin desert tortoise relocation program in an effort to expand their already enormous base (1000 square miles for maneuver and ranges; just how much space do they need?). Well, as the Center for Biological Diversity reports, nearly 50% of those translocated tortoises have perished. Relocating sensitive species does not work and this failure confirms that fact.

“The Bureau of Land Management and the Army continue to downplay the impact of this project on the survival of the desert tortoise in the western Mojave recovery unit,” Anderson said. “Releasing the notice on a Friday afternoon, providing only a 15-day comment period in August, and not immediately notifying the interested public gives the perception that the Bureau and Army are not really interested in the public’s participation.”

More at the Los Angeles Times. Draft Environmental Assessment information and comment links can be found here. Please speak out and voice your objections!

When I was younger, desert tortoises were ubiquitous. Seeing them in the wild now is a rarity and treat. Don’t let the military drive our wildlife close to extinction.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.


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