World Turtle News, 04/10/2019
Hernando County celebrates the Gopher tortoise
Wednesday is Gopher Tortoise Day in five Florida counties. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is encouraging communities, organizations and individuals to help conserve Florida’s only native tortoise.
This year, five counties – Alachua, Hernando, Miami-Dade, Martin and Palm Beach, along with several local communities such as the city of Sanibel – are adopting Florida Gopher Tortoise Day resolutions. But anyone can get involved in helping Florida’s gopher tortoises.
These gentle, slow-moving reptiles become more active in spring. You’re more likely to spot them this time of year as they leave their deep burrows to search for spring greenery and, often, for a mate. Look for tortoises and their half-moon shaped burrow entrances in yards, neighborhoods, along roadways and on many of the state’s private and public lands.
“When you help spread the word about gopher tortoise conservation, you’re also helping hundreds of other native species,” said Deborah Burr, who heads the FWC’s Gopher Tortoise Management Program. “Their burrows provide important shelter to many other animals such as the gopher frog and the federally threatened Eastern indigo snake.”
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