“Keystone species” play a critical role in the ecosystems they inhabit. The gopher tortoise in Florida is such a species, sharing its burrowed living areas with more than 350 other species, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The gopher tortoise is also Florida’s state tortoise.
With its status currently listed as “threatened,” this special tortoise is protected under Florida law. Anyone developing or clearing land in the state must relocate the tortoise before proceeding.
Floridians all play a role in protecting this species. Find out more here if you come across one that needs to be relocated.