Keep reading for the latest news and announcements from the Gopher Tortoise Council
Updated Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines for Florida
On November 30, 2022, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved staff's recommendation to update the state's Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines. The goal of the update is to better protect gopher tortoises by incentivizing relocations to protected recipient sites, clearly defining roles and responsibilities in the relocation process, and clarifying other provisions in the guidelines. The permitting guidelines support the Gopher Tortoise Management Plan, which was created by the FWC with the ultimate goal of restoring and maintaining secure, viable populations of gopher tortoises throughout Florida, so the species no longer warrants state listing. The revised guidelines will go into effect April 2023.
J. Larry Landers Student Research Grant
Gopher Tortoise Day Grant
2023 Annual SEPARC Meeting
For any interested GTC members - the 2023 Annual SEPARC Meeting will be held February 23-26, 2023 at YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Information on meeting participation can be found on SEPARC's website.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant Supports Multi-State Conservation Efforts in the Gopher Tortoise's Range
In 2022, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awarded an America the Beautiful Challenge Grant to the project "Enhancing Fire-Dependent Plant Communities in the East Gulf Coastal Plain Habitats of MS, LA, and AL". Through partnerships among Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) as well as private industry and the public, stakeholders aim to improve resilience of 90,000 acres of fire-dependent habitats including piney woods, blackland prairie, loess bluffs, and seepage bog ecosystems through restoration, habitat management, invasive plant species control, revegetation, cost-sharing, outreach and training