July 31, 2009

Burros to be moved off Army post

Wild burros are to be relocated from an Army post in California and from areas around Death Valley, federal officials said.

Burros drawn by natural springs at Fort Irwin, Calif., are disturbing the habitat of the desert tortoise, a species listed as threatened, and other native animals are being threatened when they stray into live fire areas, The Barstow Desert Dispatch reported.

When you only have one water source ... where else are they going to go? They're going to concentrate there and have some impact, said Anthony Chavez of the Bureau of Land Management.

The Army has asked the BLM to move 40 burros away from Fort Irwin. Others will be moved from Owl Hole Springs near Death Valley.

The burros will be kept at a BLM holding facility and made available for adoption. The wild burros are descendents of domesticated donkeys brought to the Americas by Spanish colonizers.