Volume 43, Number 2
Matt Elliott (GTC Senior Co-Chair)
Greetings fellow tortoise friends!
We are very excited to welcome you in a couple of months to the 45th annual Gopher Tortoise Council meeting November 17-19 at the University of Georgia Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. Hopefully the weather will cooperate, but typically November in South Georgia is really nice. Our social will be held nearby at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture and will feature local tacos from Taqueria Hermanos Chavez as well as local beers.
As usual, we will have two full days of talks and panel discussions, along with poster presentations, and a silent auction (please bring some cool tortoise or conservation-themed items!). Our awards dinner on Saturday will also be held at the Museum of Agriculture and will feature another of our local specialties – BBQ. We are hoping to offer two field trips on Sunday – one to Alapaha River Wildlife Management Area, once known as the “Rayonier Snake Sanctuary”, and home to a lot of Joan Diemer and Dan Speake’s pioneering gopher tortoise and indigo snake research back in the 1970’s, and another to Doerun Pitcherplant Bog Wildlife Management Area, site of some amazing longleaf pine-wiregrass, seepage bogs, and a surprisingly large number of tortoises.
Right now we are still working on our t-shirt designs, but we will be going once again through CustomInk.
I am looking forward to seeing all of you!
We are now accepting abstracts for the 45th Annual Gopher Tortoise Council Meeting November 17-19th, 2023. This year's meeting will be held in Tifton, Georgia at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. Keep reading for specific instructions for participants interested in submitting an abstract for the meeting. Registration details to come.
Unpaved Roads as Overlooked Habitat for Florida Scrub Lizards, David Tevs (Georgia Southern University)
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. David Tevs was a Landers Grant recipient in 2022. Keep reading to learn more about his research on Florida scrub lizards in peninsular Florida.
Brad O'Hanlon, Hannah Burke, and Jacob Sperber
In April of this year, nineteen federally threatened eastern indigo snakes were released at the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve in the Florida Panhandle. This event marked the seventh time that these serpents were released at the location, and another major step forward to return the ‘lord of the forest’ to landscapes where it once roamed. This effort is made possible by a collaborative effort including The Nature Conservancy, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Central Florida Zoo’s Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation (OCIC), the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and many other partners, including two intrepid young volunteers, Hannah Burke and Jacob Sperber, who we will meet through this article.