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Gopher Tortoise "Shell-abration" Set for April 10

Five years ago the Gopher Tortoise Council declared April 10 Gopher Tortoise Day. This day was proclaimed to celebrate all things gopher tortoise, giving one of Florida's most important reptiles a much deserved bask in the sunlight. April 10 is again set aside this year to celebrate and raise awareness for this native tortoise species.

How can you get involved?

There are plenty of easy ways to get involved in Gopher Tortoise Day!

• Ask your local officials to adopt a resolution proclaiming April 10 as Gopher Tortoise Day in your community.

• Host or attend a virtual Gopher Tortoise Day event.

• Plan or attend a volunteer day. Make sure to follow CDC and state guidelines for physical distancing.

• Share your Gopher Tortoise Day events and activities with us! Email [email protected]

• Use #GopherTortoiseDay on your social media posts and be sure to mention @MyFWC or tag #FWC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Why should we raise awareness for the gopher tortoise?

• The gopher tortoise is the only tortoise species native to the Southeastern United States.

• Gopher tortoises are currently state-listed as "threatened" in Florida. Without our help these magnificent creatures could end up on the endangered species list!

• The gopher tortoise is a keystone species. More than 350 different animals rely on gopher tortoise burrows as a refuge from predators, fire, and extreme temperatures

• Gopher tortoise burrows provide refuge to many other imperiled or managed species, including the Eastern indigo snake, Florida pine snake, Florida mouse, and gopher frog, just to name a few.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission invites people to "shell"-ebrate all things gopher tortoise on April 10 to help raise awareness for this threatened species and preserve this wonderful creature for future generations.

For more information or questions contact the FWC Gopher Tortoise Day Coordinator at [email protected]


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