Florida’s Threatened Gopher Tortoise at SNC

Florida’s Gopher Tortoises are “Threatened”

Gopher Tortoise

 There are 5 young Gopher Tortoises at the Sawgrass Nature Center in Coral Springs.  You can see these youngsters in the lobby of the administration building.

 Gophers can live for more than 40 years. There is a Gopher tortoise now living in Halifax, Nova Scotia that is 70+ years old.

 Gophers are native to all the southeastern states. They can be found in rural and urban areas. They are not good swimmers, so they live on land and like to dig large deep burrows. These burrows can be up to ten feet deep and 40 feet long, and are as wide as the length of the tortoise that made it.

In addition to providing the tortoise a home, the burrows are also used by a range of other species including the indigo snake, Florida mouse, gopher frog and burrowing owl. Gopher tortoises are referred to as a Keystone Species because they share these burrows with more than 350 other species. In Florida, the gopher tortoise is listed as “Threatened”. Both the tortoise and its burrow are protected under state law.

 

Come to the Sawgrass Nature Center and tour the facility, be sure and stop in the administration building where you can see these gopher tortoises.  While there you can pick up information about  other events such as our Spring, Summer and Winter “CAMP WILD”. Learn about our NATURE EXPLORER PROGRAM and how to become a volunteer at the center.