Gopher Tortoises considered a threatened species

With more houses being built and more land being developed the Gopher Tortoises are considered to be a threatened species. The gopher tortoise is protected as a State-designated threatened species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule. Gopher tortoises must be relocated before any land clearing or development can take place, property owners must obtain appropriate permits from the FWC before they can move a gopher tortoise burrow.

The FWC needs your help documenting where gopher tortoises live. You can help by downloading and using the “Florida Gopher Tortoise” App. With this app you can record the location of gopher tortoises you may see in your yard, neighborhood, or crossing the road. This information will help FWC biologists better understand where populations of gopher tortoises live. With your help, FWC will be able to better document where gopher tortoises are living within our Florida communities, and how we can work together to protect them.

“The purpose of the gopher tortoise app is to allow the public to photograph and report active gopher tortoise burrows, report injured or dead gopher tortoises and directs users to educational information regarding gopher tortoises,” Melody Kilborn of FWC explains. “However, permits cannot be issued through this app. The app also provides the Wildlife Alert Hotline number that the public can use to report wildlife violations, a link to the website with permitting information and contact information for our regional gopher tortoise biologists if the public has additional questions.”

So help out the FWC and become a citizen scientist by downloading the Florida Gopher Tortoise smartphone app.

Geoffrey Ionescu can be reached at cbnews@newszap.com

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