Re: Waste of bandwidth

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Posted by RiverRat on January 17, 2003 at 18:33:29:

In Reply to: Re: Waste of bandwidth posted by Taxed.... on January 17, 2003 at 13:28:05:

I believe the primary reason for the tortoise decline is loss of habitat. Loss of habitat includes being run over by OHVs and 4x4s. I am not aware of raven predation and upper resporatory tract disease. Ravens have been around for a while, they are now making inroads on the tortoise population? The disease I know nothing about, but perhaps the disease is brought on or made worse by stress, created by loss of habitat??

Having taken care of a pair of captive bred desert tortoise (no, they were not mine, they hatched at my kid's school, one on 9/11/01 and named Freedom), I know they eat greens (they loved salad mix, and more than once I was accused of eating the "turtle food"). Even when spring-fresh, cresote bush doesn't sound very appealing. They need room, to find the food, and they need the food, and cannot compete with the much more mobil and very recently introduced invader species of burro, cow, sheep, goat, horse, european-bred human and so on. And, speaking of humans, when I was a young rat, many moons ago, we had some sort of relatives in LA, and they had a desert tortoise they picked up out of the desert, and it spent its final years in a backyard in the LA 'burbs. A stranger in a strange land.

When in doubt, preserve the habitat, and preserve enough to make a difference. Can't hurt, will probably help. The tortoise, as mentioned above, competes with burros, cows, sheep, goats for the same food (and competes with human when human runs grazers on the desert, which converts turtle food to people food). They compete with the humans for space to roam and space to live on. They are diggers, true (hence their scientific name, roughly translated as gopher tortoise), but actual rock defeats them, and they cannot live amongst the desert peaks. The only tortoise burrows I have ever seen were in, or would make, ideal building sites, road sites (a potential future road alignment was staked out), 4x4 sites (4x4 tracks were crossing the area), military sites, ranch sites, vacation cabin sites, trailer sites (you get the picture?).

Blaming the bureaucrats is a simplistic responce. In this case, I believe the "bureaucrats" (a word guaranteed to introduce a Pavlovian Reaction, no?) are backed by science, or at least common sence (makes sence to me). Or are we going to be guilty of the extinction of the desert tortoise in its native range? Is the "Final Solution" going to be, go see a few token desert tortoise at the LA Zoo?

I am not from down there, and am not a biologist, so I am not aware of the research on other reasons for the problem. I am willing to stand corrected, Sir or Madam, but research takes time and they are dieing off now. I am not from Missouri, but I can echo "Show me".

In conclusion,yes, $100M sounds like a lot. But I believe we are guilty . . . .

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