Annual Meeting

39th Annual Gopher Tortoise Council Meeting, October 13-15, 2017

Registration is now open and we are accepting abstracts for oral and poster presentations for the 39th Annual Gopher Tortoise Council Meeting to be held at the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield, South Carolina from October 13 -15, 2017.

Thursday night, October 12: Board Meeting
Friday and Saturday, October 13 and October 14: General Meeting
Sunday, October 15: Field trip to the Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve

Topics are not limited to gopher tortoises and can include any of the following topics related to upland habitat and associated species:
Conservation of Commensal Species
Habitat Management/Restoration
Monitoring/Field Techniques Economics Interdisciplinary Projects
General Ecology

Hotel Information

Please contact the hotels directly for reservations (online booking is unavailable). Be sure to ask for the Gopher Tortoise Council for discounted hotel rates. Click here for more information.


Early-bird registration rates expire after September 15, 2017. Registration costs include on-site beverages and snacks, lunch and dinner on Friday, and Saturday lunch.

Registration options for the 2017 GTC meeting are as follows:


$85: Early-bird Registration with Membership
$70: Early-bird Registration without Membership
$105: Regular Registration with Membership
$90: Regular Registration without Membership


$115 Early-bird Registration with Membership
$90 Early-bird Registration without Membership
$140 Regular Registration with Membership
$115 Regular Registration without Membership

Registration After September 15

Saturday Social

Aiken Center for the Arts - $25 – dinner and drinks included

Social activities include a Friday BBQ and skeet shoot at the NWTF Palmetto Shooting Complex, an optional Saturday night social at the Aiken Center for the Arts and award ceremony, and a silent auction! The meeting provides an excellent opportunity for students and professionals to present their work, share ideas, and collaborate.

Saturday Dinner and Social

T-shirt Suggested Donation- $20

Order your t-shirts by Tuesday, September 19 to guarantee availability.

Adult T shirt (suggested $20 donation)

Submitting Abstracts (Papers and Posters)

The deadline for submitting abstracts is September 8th, 2017. Abstracts should be 300 words or less and conform to the general style of Journal of Wildlife Management abstract format (keywords not necessary; see sample abstract below). The name, affiliation, address, email, and phone number of the corresponding author should be provided with the abstract. Student abstracts should be clearly identified as such. An abbreviated heading including the title and author name(s) should also appear before the abstract body (see example below). Abstracts must be submitted in MS Word. Please submit abstracts via e-mail to

Guidelines for Oral and Poster Presentations

Presentations will be strictly limited to 15 minutes, including 3-5 minutes for questions. LCD projectors will be provided. Overheads and slides are not acceptable. Posters should be no larger than 48" x 36" and will be set up Friday morning during registration and the first break. Poster presenters should be available for questions during the poster session.

Sample Abstract Submission

Corresponding Author: Toobee R. Estord
Affiliation: Everglades Division, South Florida Water Management District, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Phone number: 561-686-8800
Student or nonstudent presentation (select one)
The effects of fish size on net energy intake of snowy egrets.
T. R. Estord and M. Ritter

The Effects of Fish Size on Net Energy Intake of Snowy Egrets
Toobee R. Estord¹ and Mork Ritters²
¹Everglades Division, South Florida Water Management District, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406
²Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 3200 T. M. Goodwin Road, Fellsmere, FL 32948

Draining wetlands reduces their hydroperiod and causes a shift in the size structure of the fish community toward smaller and younger fish. Reduced fish size could potentially impact snowy egrets (Egretta thula) if it reduced their net energy intake. We tested the hypothesis...


Silent Auction

We greatly appreciate any donations to fund our GTC Environmental Education Grants! Please consider bringing silent auction items with you to the meeting! Can’t attend the meeting? Contact us for shipping information! Please contact Connie Henderson at for more information.


Student Presentation Awards are given for the top three student oral presentations at the annual meeting. Please indicate clearly in your abstract if you are an undergraduate or graduate student so that you can be considered for this award. Contact Lora Smith at if you have any questions.

Bob Herrington Student Travel Grants will be available and 2 awards (at $100/each) will be randomly selected among students who travel more than 60 miles to attend the meeting. Students must be presenting an oral or poster presentation. If interested, please email Betsie Rothermel at and include your current university affiliation.

Details regarding additional Research and Educational Grant opportunities can be found here.

GTC Membership

Please don’t forget to renew your membership or become a member of the GTC if you are not including it in your registration fees!

Please mark the dates of October 13-15, 2017 on your calendar and make plans to join us South Carolina for the 39th Annual Gopher Tortoise Council Meeting. For more information please contact Will Dillman, GTC Co-chair at (803) 240-7919 or Hope to see you all in October!