By STEPHANIE CASTILLO, Las Vegas Review-Journal
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A few miles off a Nevada state highway west of Las Vegas, about 10 miles south of Pahrump, lies a 3,000-acre solar farm under development.
As you approach, bundles of metal fencing are prepped to soon become 10 miles (16.1 kilometers) of temporary desert tortoise exclusion fencing.
A team of biologists relocated 139 tortoises from their habitat to make way for the solar panels in the Yellow Pine Solar Project, one of four large solar energy developments initiated in Southern Nevada.
The tortoises were moved across state Route 160 to Stump Springs in May.
In a span of a few weeks, 30 tortoises were killed, possibly by badgers. Conservationists believe relocation stress made the reptiles vulnerable and drought caused badgers to look for new sources of prey.
Wildlife experts are still looking into the exact…