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FWC revises permitting guidelines for gopher tortoise

By Staff | Aug 5, 2020

On July 23, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved revisions to the Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines. The revisions include clarifications and updates to data, permitting and mitigation requirements.

The goals of the changes are to clarify and streamline the permitting process, improve the quality of data and methods used to collect it, and improve the conservation value and effectiveness of relocation activities.

FWC staff will work with stakeholders to address safety concerns with the ATV provisions.

The Gopher Tortoise Management Plan and associated guidelines provide the management framework for gopher tortoise conservation. Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines clarify protections, outline activities where permits are needed, provide methods and qualifications for individuals conducting gopher tortoise relocation, and outline requirements for sites that receive gopher tortoises.

The initial guidelines were approved in 2008 and multiple revisions over the years have allowed for continued improvement in the permitting process and in conservation for the gopher tortoise.

To learn more about gopher tortoises in Florida, visit MyFWC.com/GopherTortoise.

For an overview of how Florida conserves imperiled species, go to MyFWC.com/Imperiled.