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Southern Utah Issue: The Tortoise and the Raven

Southern Utah Issue: The Tortoise and the Raven
October 30
09:09 2019
Some southern Utah officials are expressing frustration with the implementation pace of measures to protect desert tortoises from the predation of ravens.
Ivins Mayor Chris Hart observes, “Monitoring the demise of tortoises seems idiotic.  Monitoring without taking some immediate actions seems futile.”
In the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve ravens target hatchlings and juveniles because their shells have not yet hardened.  While previously, four to eight instances of predation have occurred each year, in 2019, 18 attacks have been recorded.
The use of three-dimensional “techno torts” is being tested.  They are laced with chemicals that create a taste aversion in ravens.  Oiling raven eggs, which halts embryo development, is awaiting approval by the federal government.
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