Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) has teamed up with the San Diego Zoo and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect desert tortoises in the area. 60 juvenile tortoises from the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas were released last week on the southern end of the site.
The tortoises, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, were fitted with special radio tracking devices so their movements can be studied. Benefits of the study include identifying their preferred habitat features, assessing the health and condition of desert tortoises at NNSS, and determining causes of tortoise injuries and mortality. The effort is part of a year-long study to help re-introduce tortoises back into the wild.