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Ravens, Dogs Torment Tortoises

Ravens, Dogs Torment Tortoises
June 11
09:22 2019
Biologists say a skyrocketing population of ravens is posing a major threat to the recovery of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise.
Raven numbers in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve near St. George have recently risen by at least 1,500 percent.
Ravens go after the soft shells of newly-hatched tortoises.
And, while unleashed dogs are expressly prohibited in the reserve, people are increasingly bringing them into the protected area.  A dog was recently observed carrying a tortoise in its mouth.
The raven population can be controlled by a method called egg oiling.  The oil stops embryo development in an egg.  However, use of the oil depends on having a permit, and the Bureau of Land Management says it has neither the personnel nor the resources to initiate the permit process this year.  It is possible an outside third party could be contracted to oversee the permitting.

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