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Endangered desert tortoises live near solar developments

The need to develop alternative energy sources in the Coachella Valley deserts is coinciding with the needs of endangered animals living in the same regions, according to a recent report from The Desert Sun.

Endangered desert tortoises have been facing decreasing population numbers since the 1980s. More than 90 percent of the tortoises have disappeared.

In the meantime, solar developments are being built in the deserts where the tortoises reside.

The U.S. Interior Department halted construction on one of the solar developments - the Ivanpah facility - when the workers found a large population of tortoises nearby.

According to Defenders of Wildlife, the desert tortoise lives in extreme conditions and there are about 100,000 of these animals left in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.

It will be a real challenge for officials at the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find a way for developers to search for alternate energy sources while not disturbing the natural environment of endangered species.
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