- Created on Friday, 21 September 2012 22:20
- Written by Imperial Valley News
San Diego, California - Today, a team of conservationists translocated 60 juvenile tortoises into a large protected habitat area in southern Nevada. The project is part of a long-term collaborative effort involving U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nevada National Security Site and San Diego Zoo Global to learn about and recover a species that has become threatened in the wild.
"Habitat destruction is one of the biggest threats facing desert tortoises in the wild," said Jennifer Germano Ph.D., post-doctoral researcher at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center. "Currently we are using translocations as an experimental tool to help minimize some of the impacts to tortoise populations. Tracking this group of young tortoises will allow us to better understand how these animals respond to translocation, which will help us improve recovery efforts for this species in the future."
A transmitter has been placed on each of the tortoises to allow researchers to track the movements and health of the juvenile reptiles (ranging in age from 3 to 8 years). Translocations have recently been recommended for tortoises impacted by regional habitat disturbances due to energy project development and as a tool to augment depleted populations. Through this effort, researchers hope to better understand what factors improve long-term survival for individuals and how they can improve the tools they use for the conservation management of this species.
The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The work of the Conservancy includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. In addition, San Diego Zoo Global manages the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Frozen ZooTM, Native Seed Gene Bank, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Centers, the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Breeding Facility, the Cocha Cashu Biological Research Station, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, and a 800-acre biodiversity reserve adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.