It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced it will kill hundreds of threatened desert tortoises it's been caring for at a Nevada conservation facility. The slaughter is being blamed on a lack of funds by the agency.
Real estate developers in southern Nevada who wanted to disrupt the habitat of threatened desert tortoises to build their little enclaves of air conditioning and irrigation in the arid suburbs of Las Vegas have been able to do so -- for a fee. And while at the height of the real estate boom those fees went a long way toward providing refuge for displaced tortoises, the real estate bust has seen the program implode.
“It’s the lesser of two evils, but it’s still evil,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service desert tortoise recovery coordinator Roy Averill-Murray during a visit to the soon-to-be-shuttered reserve at the southern edge of the Las Vegas Valley last week.
Biologists went about their work examining tortoises for signs of disease as Averill-Murray walked among the reptile pens. But the scrubby 220-acre refuge area will stop taking new animals in the coming months. Most that arrive in the fall will simply be put down, late-emerging victims of budget problems that came from the same housing bubble that put a neighborhood of McMansions at the edge of the once-remote site.
Back at the conservation center, a large refrigerator labeled “carcass freezer” hummed in the desert sun as scientists examined the facility’s 1,400 inhabitants to find those hearty enough to release into the wild. Officials expect to euthanize more than half the animals in the coming months in preparation for closure at the end of 2014.
There are different degrees of violation with the law. The most punishable offenses are trafficking, and any act of knowingly "taking" (which includes harming, wounding, or killing) an endangered species.
The penalties for these violations can be a maximum fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for one year, or both, and civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation, may be assessed. Lists of violations and exact fines are available through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration web-site.
This is terrible.
Is there anything we can do?? Surely there are enough reptile rehabs that could take the ones set to be euthanized?