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By Special to the News
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 

Florida Celebrates the Protected Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise Day is April 10!

 

Last updated 3/31/2022 at 12:59pm

Florida celebrates Gopher Tortoise Day April 10

Florida celebrates a special day for gopher tortoises for very important reasons. The gopher tortoise plays a significant role in many of Florida's ecosystems and deserves our recognition. Gopher tortoises are considered a keystone species, as their burrows provide refuge for over 350 different species of wildlife. Burrow associates range from common animals such as opossums and rat snakes, to rarer and lesser-known species such as the punctuate gopher tortoise onthophagus beetle and the Eastern indigo snake.

Without gopher tortoises and their burrows, there would be fewer of these species. Some species could even go extinct! By raising awareness for this Threatened species, we can all help to make sure gopher tortoises and all the other important species that call their burrows home will be around for years to come.

Since its founding six years ago, Gopher Tortoise Day has been celebrated annually to raise awareness for Florida's only native tortoise. April 10 is approaching quickly, and now is the time to begin prepping festivities for this yearly event.

Baby gopher tortoises are vulnerable to being taken by a large number of predators.

Ways to prepare for and celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day 2022!

• Urge your local government to adopt a resolution proclaiming April 10 as Gopher Tortoise Day.

• Get involved! Host or attend an event to raise awareness for gopher tortoises.

• Spread the news on social media using #FWC and #GopherTortoiseDay.

• Plan local events, such as invasive plant pulls or greenspace litter pickups, to help improve gopher tortoise habitat.

• Be sure to get proper approvals.

If you would like to learn more about the gopher tortoise and how to protect it, please visit the Gopher Tortoise Day website.

 

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