The Sonoran desert tortoise is found south and east of the Colorado River, in the central and western parts of Arizona, and into northwestern Mexico. The habitat of this rare reptile is threatened by invasive species, livestock grazing, increased fire risk, housing developments, off-road vehicles, and increased predation facilitated by human activities.
In 2015, WildEarth Guardians and allies challenged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ (USFWS) decision not to protect the Sonoran desert tortoise under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As a result of that lawsuit, in August 2020 USFWS agreed to reconsider the tortoise for ESA protection.
USFWS must now go back and take a new look at the imperiled animal’s status in Arizona and has 18 months to make a new determination about the status of the species. Sonoran desert tortoise are known for moving slowly, but without full federal ESA protections, they will continue racing toward extinction. Please raise your voice today!
Photo Credit: E.K. Schahauser
- Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of the best tools America has to stem the current extinction crisis facing plants and wildlife. In fact, the ESA has prevented more than 99% of species protected by the Act from going extinct over the past four decades.
Unfortunately, the ESA has been chronically underfunded for decades. Hundreds of endangered animals and plants receive less than $1,000 a year for their recovery and many species receive no funding at all from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This must change immediately.
WildEarth Guardians has joined more than 170 groups calling on Congress to significantly increase the USFWS’ budget for endangered species conservation and we could use your help. Please write your members of Congress today.
Photo Credit: Eric Kilby
- Your Senators
- Your Representative