Florida Gopher Tortoise

Nassau County Insider
Sabrina Robertson
County Manager’s Office
April 12, 2018 11:00 a.m.


Editor’s Note: Although we missed posting this on April 10 which is Florida Gopher Tortoise Day, we thought our readers would enjoy.

Since 2016, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has celebrated Gopher Tortoise Day to spread awareness on this threatened species. Gopher tortoises become active in the spring as they search for food and a mate, therefore you are more likely to see them now. Just in time for Florida Gopher Tortoise Day!

The FFWC would like to remind everyone that it is illegal to disturb or harm gopher turtles, their burrows or their eggs. If you see a gopher tortoise or their half-moon shaped burrow entrance, it’s best to leave them alone. You can help a tortoise cross a road by picking it up and placing it in the direction it was headed, but don’t ever put the tortoise in your vehicle or in the water. It is a land animal and needs a sandy, sunny habitat to survive.

Golpher turtles live in burrows and the burrows are also homes to hundreds of animals including the eastern indigo snake, gopher frog and Florida mouse.

On the Gopher Tortoise Day website, you can find many resources including guides to living with gopher tortoises and ideas for kids’ activities including how to build a burrow. And if you’re a fan of the gopher tortoise, help spread the word on conserving this threatened species whose burrows are also homes to hundreds of animals including the eastern indigo snake, gopher frog and Florida mouse.

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