Feds say solar project imperils desert tortoises

AP News
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Posted: Apr 27, 2011 11:19 AM
Feds say solar project imperils desert tortoises

A federal assessment shows more than 3,000 desert tortoises that are threatened with extinction would be disturbed by a California solar project, and up to 700 of the young turtles would be killed during construction.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management assessment released Tuesday is far more than BrightSource Energy Co.'s prediction that an estimated 38 of the reptiles would be disturbed by construction at the 5.6-acre Ivanpah Valley site near Primm, Nev.

BrightSource was ordered this month to halt construction activity on two-thirds of the project.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports the BLM's new assessment estimates that up to 162 adult tortoises in the project area will have to be captured and moved and up to 700 juvenile tortoises would be killed during construction.