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The Gopher Tortoise Burrow: Protected by Florida State Law

The Gopher Tortoise is one of Florida’s most unique reptile. The Gopher Tortoise is known an a keystone species. Gopher tortoises dig deep burrows in the ground for refuge and for protection. These burrows average a depth of 6.5 feet and can be as long as 15 feet. These same burrows can be home to as many as 350 different species! Species that can share their home include burrowing owls, rabbits, opossums, gopher crickets, gopher frogs, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake and the rare indigo snake. These burrows are not only critical to the gopher tortoises survival, but to these other native Florida species, as well. Did you know that both the gopher tortoise and its burrow are protected under state law? Next time you see a burrow, admire it but please do not disturb. For more information:

4 Comments on “The Gopher Tortoise Burrow: Protected by Florida State Law

  1. What do I do if the gopher tortoise’s burrough has caused my ground to collapse? I had three small gardens and with the rain, and the burrough directly below, it has caused my grass and ground to collapse…also I had a female lay eggs that should be hatching in the next few weeks. Is there anything I need to do for the little ones?

  2. Hi Jim…we have a home at 17743 Lake Lucy Lane in Groveland Florida. The land above us has been sold for development of 500 to 700 homes. There are dozens maybe a hundred gopher tortoises on that property that will be bulldozed under unless someone steps in. There are also pileated woodpeckers and our octagenerian neighbor now deceased told us a small Indian burial ground is located by a pecan grove next to the Lake. I just need some contacts and I thank you for your affection for beautiful gopher tortoises. Keep up the good work. Linda Phipps 561 289 3478 master gardener.

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