Help the FWC Protect Gopher Tortoises

November 4, 2019 posted by


NARRATOR: The gopher tortoise… …a long-lived reptile that makes its home in upland habitats throughout Florida. Its burrow provides a home for more than 350 animal species, including insects. Because of this, the gopher tortoise is known as a keystone species, serving as the backbone of the plant and wildlife community in which it lives. In Florida, the gopher tortoise is listed as a state-threatened species. Both the tortoise and its burrow are protected under state law. Conservation of gopher tortoises relies not only on the efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, but also on Florida’s citizens. There are many ways to co-exist with these gentle creatures. DEBORAH: If a gopher tortoise is living in your yard, embrace the opportunity to learn about this threatened species and ways you can join conservation efforts. If possible, please avoid disturbing the area around the burrow. It is important to leave the tortoise alone and keep dogs and children away from its burrow. Tortoises are often found near the road where it is open and sunny. When driving, scan the road for gopher tortoises. They are slow-moving creatures. If possible, give them time to safely cross. You may help the tortoise cross the road by placing it out of harm’s way in the same direction that it was going. Do not put the tortoise in your vehicle or bring it to a different area. And never put your life in danger to move the tortoise. Another way you can help is to download the free FWC gopher tortoise application on your smartphone. This citizen-science portal helps the FWC gather data on where gopher tortoises are located. The app allows you to take a picture of a gopher tortoise or burrow and record its location. It also contains fun features, such as gopher tortoise facts, how to help and a quiz. NARRATOR: The FWC is working hard towards the conservation of gopher tortoises, but it also takes the help of Florida’s citizens. For more information on the gopher tortoise, visit MyFWC.com/GopherTortoise.

21 Comments

21 Replies to “Help the FWC Protect Gopher Tortoises”

  1. Manley Kiser says:

    Love this Video!

  2. kanatapaw says:

    3 maggot females tirchered one very recently. Stole from the wild to abuse. They killed the poor soul.

  3. That Riverview Hooligan says:

    There are many of these in my neighborhood, and a two or three specifically in my yard.Way to big to be killed by any kind of cat. I love them! I make sure they eat plenty of grass and stuff. I love taking pictures of them to.

  4. Andrew McCallister says:

    Just discovered a baby (the size of a fist, never seen one so small) tortoise in my backyard today. I'll take a picture with the app to report next time I see him out of his burrow!

  5. Diane Tidwell says:

    Is the app still available? I couldn't find it. thanks

  6. Ron Rizzo says:

    Recently had a female lay her eggs in one of my flowerbeds. It was fascinating to watch – even caught a bit of it on video.  Will be looking for hatchlings in mid to late-July.

  7. NHMntnHIGH says:

    I recently noticed a burrow under my back stairs after telling the local children to leave the tortoise alone she belongs to the state of Florida , she has a nice burrow dug and I'm looking forward to seeing her babies hatch .

  8. David Thompson says:

    Help preserve Gopher tortoise habitat! gofund.me/2g66ctbb

  9. Redbug 3 says:

    Gotta Love a Gopher……!

  10. sargent pepper says:

    THE REASON GOPHER TURTLES ARE ENDANGERED IS BECAUSE FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE STARTED CHARGING PROPERTY OWNERS 3 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO RE LOCATE THEM BEFORE YOU COULD SELL YOUR PROPERTY …. I WAS I FL AT THE TIME .. SO THEN BEFORE PEOPLE WOULD SELL OR BUY PROPERTY THEY STARTED KILLING ALL THE TURTLES TO SAVE THEMSELVES THE 3 GRAND PER TURTLE !!!

  11. XxBabyMegalodonxX 247 says:

    Dogs and children always? What about cats and ball pythons?

  12. Ally C says:

    There's been a lot of housing development in our area. It's uprooting a significant amount of gopher tortoise on our property. My German Shorthaired Pointer has a high prey drive and has gotten to several of the tortoise. Besides keeping an eye on the dogs while they're in the yard (it's 5 acres), what else can be done?

  13. grouperhunter says:

    Gopher tortoises are one of my favorite animals in the state of Florida.

  14. sjwilson1079 says:

    I have a few of them on my property and love seeing them eat grass in the yard

  15. Jeanne Bass says:

    When my neighbors from the city moved in next door we told them the burrow on the hill in their back yard

  16. Jeanne Bass says:

    That was 8 months ago.. Today I noticed that they had dumped their burn barrel in the turtles den!! When I asked why they did that?? They said they knew all about gopher turtles and she had a new hope on the side of their yard!! What if her babies are down there?? I'm pretty pissed, but do not know who to turn to for action!! Can anyone out there help?? I have to live beside them going forward!

  17. mike kleid says:

    Very nice documentary.

  18. kimmie koolbeans says:

    We have videos of us rescuing about 20 gopher tortoises off of highways. We love these little guys. We have to here on the property now we know of.. They are welcome to stay as long as they like.. We’re glad the feel safe here.

  19. KP2010 says:

    I’ve been told they are very nasty….is it true?

  20. I'm Cheech says:

    We love our gopher tortious'… We have traffic every day thru our yard. Some traverse the front, some the back yard. We refer to our house as "the big rock" and it's like a tortious highway… We have no neighbors and I love sitting on our front porch and watching them come and go, stopping for a bite to eat in our lawn then shading themselves under the cars in our driveway. We also attract the Robbins, bluebirds, woodpeckers and even had a panther sitting and relaxing like a statute once in our front yard.
    We specifically selected this property because even though close to the population center of our county, we are far enough and remote enough to enjoy all the natural blessings of our Creator from the comfort of our front porch and rear lanai… Thank you FWC and UF for all you do to educate We the People of our greatest state in the Republic, Florida.

  21. Sam Galati says:

    These Tortoises are spunky here in Fl. I'm always helping them cross the roads.

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