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Archive for the 'Desert Tortoises' Category

Desert tortoise likes to browse in the garden

Tortie the desert tortoise, hiding in Gary’s backyard garden. Photo by Karl Nielsen, Benicia, CA
1dtortie karl nielsen benicia

Tortie likes to browse in our backyard garden

My wife Lois, and I, have 4 large garden boxes in our backyard, where we grow all kinds of squash, beans, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, mammoth sunflowers (to feed the squirrel so he leaves the rest of the veggies for us) and an assortment of herbs we use for cooking.

There are gravel paths between these garden boxes. We tend to let our veggies have free reign, and the pathways are necessary so Lois and I can find our way through the garden jungle to harvest the fruits and vegetables of our labor.
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Posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Under: Desert Tortoises, Gardens | 5 Comments »

California desert tortoise is spared off-road ruin … for now

Tortoise photo by Flickr user Caitlyn Willows used under a Creative Commons License.
tortoise caitlyn willows

Here’s an update on the California desert tortoise and its seemingly never-ending battle to survive, from the Jan. 7, 2010, weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity:

Last week a judge overturned a decision to open two off-road vehicle routes imperiling threatened desert tortoises in California’s Mojave Desert.

The routes, planned for a site of critical environmental concern directly abutting the Desert Tortoise Natural Area, had been closed in 2002 to protect the tortoise — but in 2008 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management decided it would be OK to reopen both routes if it introduced an off-road education and permit program that in fact provided no education and tracked no permits.
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Posted on Friday, January 8th, 2010
Under: Desert Tortoises | No Comments »

Desert tortoise: Mining ban saves 1 million acres of tortoise habitat

Desert tortoise. Photo by Beth Jackson/USFWS

From the Nov. 12, 2009, weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity:

… late last month the Bureau of Land Management blocked new mining claims on nearly 1 million acres of southern Nevada land for the next 20 years. The land in question, made up of federally designated “areas of environmental concern” due to encroaching development, is home to threatened desert tortoise and endangered birds, fish, and plants. These areas also happen to be historic hot spots for gold mining.

Read more in the New York Times at:

Dear Bureau of Land Management:
Don’t stop now! /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
Under: Desert Tortoises | 2 Comments »

Desert Tortoises: Act now to save them! It’s a matter of life and death!

Desert tortoise (Beth Jackson/USFWS)

Dear Gary:
Last year, more than 250 desert tortoises died after a disastrous attempt by the Army to relocate 600 of the imperiled tortoises to make way for a tank-warfare training area in the California desert. Now, the Army and the Bureau of Land Management are rushing forward with a plan to move over 1,000 more tortoises — and have given the public a tiny, 15-day window of opportunity to voice comments on this lethal proposal.

This misguided attempt at translocation will inflict a massive blow to the federally threatened desert tortoise population — we must demand a full review of impacts to the tortoise and its environment before any tortoises are moved. It’s a matter of life and death.
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Posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
Under: Desert Tortoises | 2 Comments »

U.S. Army makes war on endangered desert tortoises

Desert tortoises are under attack in new habitat

APRIL 4: I blogged that the U.S. Army was relocating 770 endangered California desert tortoises to make room for war games in the tortoises’ natural habitat.

APRIL 22: I blogged that the Army had relocated those tortoises into a drought area where starving coyotes were killing and feeding on them. The Army, of course, has started to shoot the coyotes for doing what comes naturally to starving coyotes … and nobody wins here except the Army, who still got the tortoise habitat for playing their war games.

Meanwhile, large numbers of already endangered tortoises are dying.
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Posted on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
Under: Desert Tortoises, Endangered species | No Comments »

Army killing endangered desert tortoises, coyotes, and … ?

Army relocates endangered desert tortoises into drought area. Starving coyotes kill tortoises. Army kills coyotes. Nobody wins, except the Army.

When our little story opens, 770 endangered desert tortoises are living peacefully in their local ecosystem in California’s lovely Mojave Desert. Then along comes the U.S. Army to stake claim on the endangered tortoise’s critical habitat because they want to use the area for Army tank training.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
Under: coyotes, Desert Tortoises, Endangered species | 2 Comments »

U.S. Army attacks endangered desert tortoises

Army declares war on endangered reptiles to make room for war games

Scientists have begun moving the Mojave Desert’s flagship species, the desert tortoise, to make room for tank training at the Army’s Fort Irwin despite protests by conservationists.

The controversial project, billed as the largest desert tortoise move in California history, involves transferring 770 endangered reptiles from Army land to a dozen public plots overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The Army said it needs an extra 131,000 acres to accommodate faster tanks and longer-range weapons used each month to train some 4,000 troops.
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Posted on Friday, April 4th, 2008
Under: Desert Tortoises, Ecosystem | 5 Comments »