Volume 42, Number 3
Matt Elliott (GTC Senior Co-Chair)
It was great to meet so many of you at the GTC meeting at Nokuse – getting to see some folks I hadn’t seen in person since before 2020, and finally putting a face to a name for others. We are really excited to be having the meeting in Georgia this year, and are still debating the various merits of different potential sites. We hope to decide soon, but the choice will certainly provide us an opportunity to show off some of the places that the tortoise has helped us protect over the past few years. The immediate future will definitely provide some challenges as all of us continue to work with not just gopher tortoises but a whole suite of at-risk species without the tortoise’s federal candidate status as the legal keystone tying everything together. Nonetheless there are a ton of great folks working on tortoises and longleaf pine ecosystems, and every time I get to talk to y’all I feel more optimistic about the future. I look forward to speaking with you soon!
After two years of virtual meetings, we were thrilled to see so many GTC members in person at the 2022 Annual Meeting at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center at Nokuse in Freeport, FL. Keep reading for some of our favorite moments and highlights from the 2022 GTC Annual Meeting.
Ally Brown (University of Georgia)
Each year, GTC awards 1-2 grants of up to $3,000 each to undergraduate and/or graduate students researching gopher tortoise biology and ecology, or other relevant aspects of upland habitat conservation and management within the range of the gopher tortoise. Ally Brown was a Landers Grant recipient in 2021. Keep reading to learn more about her research on the impacts of longleaf pine savanna restoration on snake communities in Georgia.
Eric Sievers (Wildlands Conservation, GTC Junior Co-Chair)
Wildlands Conservation is now accepting orders for the specialty gopher tortoise license plate. In order to bring awareness to the plight of the gopher tortoise, we have created this specialty license plate and will use the generated funds for gopher tortoise habitat conservation, habitat management, education, and research. With your help, we can help protect gopher tortoises and their upland habitat!
Alexa Delaune and Sean Perry (Mississippi Aquarium)
Mississippi Aquarium’s resident gopher tortoise, Andreas, has a new home!