Bocilla Island Conservancy, Inc. supports APRIL 10 as Gopher Tortoise Day!
Everyone loves our Gopher Tortoises! But, you may ask yourself, “Why does this gentle reptile deserve its own day of recognition?” Here are just a few reasons:
Gopher tortoises are Threatened in Florida and habitat loss is the primary cause for the species’ decline. Development is expected to continue to increase in Florida, reducing available habitat for gopher tortoises.
As a keystone species, gopher tortoise burrows provide refuge for more than 350 other species, called commensals. Many commensals are also Threatened. The loss of gopher tortoises and their burrows may reduce populations of these commensal species as well.
The gopher tortoise is the only native tortoise found east of the Mississippi River, and it has occupied the Southeastern U.S. for thousands of years. Gopher tortoises are found in every county of Florida.
**The special day was declared by the state of Florida’s Gopher Tortoise Council in 2017.
Your Gopher Tortoise Conservation Team has been working with homeowners, builders and landscapers since 2013 to help identify burrows, conduct gt surveys, perform excavations of burrows when necessary and educate our fellow islanders. All members of our team have been through extensive training. We are registered with the FFWC to handle and perform all of the above mentioned work.