To better protect and understand the gopher tortoise, data on mortality observations in Florida can help track the density of
gopher tortoises in urban areas. The FWC and other conservation groups can use this data to further protection efforts. Florida's
citizens are a valuable resource when it comes to gathering data. This survey will help to determine areas of higher mortality
and help the FWC and other groups develop new plans to enhance the protection of the gopher tortoise.
Identify a gopher tortoise:
- Moderate-sized, terrestrial turtle (9-11 inches in length).
- Stumpy, elephantine hind feet and flattened, shovel-like forelimbs.
- Oblong shell; typically tan, brown, or gray in color.
- Live in well-drained, sandy areas with a sparse tree canopy and abundant low growing vegetation.
Often mistaken for:
There is also a smartphone app where users
can submit photos of living gopher tortoises. This app contributes to the planning of protection efforts and is available
for citizens on both Android and iOS.
Sick or injured gopher tortoise:
- On weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., please call (850)921-1030. After hours and on weekends, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission's toll-free Wildlife Alert hotline at (888)404-3922, or use #FWC or *FWC on your cell phone. You also
can text Tip@MyFWC.com.
- If you cannot remain at the site, give a detailed location. Your information could help save the tortoise.
Dead gopher tortoise:
- Use the Google map application below to drag and drop the red pin to the location of your recent sighting.
- Please be as specific as possible when selecting the location by zooming in as far as possible to select your location.
- Indicate if you are a professional (biologist, natural resource professional, forester, professor, etc.) or a member
of the general public to provide further information concerning benefits of citizen-based science.
- Your name, organization, and email address are optional.