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Gopher Tortoise

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Protecting North Port's Wildlife: The Gopher Tortoise

The City of North Port’s Department of Public Works is proud to have created an incredibly successful Gopher Tortoise Awareness Program to educate residents on the environmental importance of gopher tortoises and their burrows.  Recognized as a leader in raising gopher tortoise awareness, North Port has introduced new technology and taken the necessary measures to protect gopher tortoises and help conserve the City’s environment.

Gopher tortoises are one of Florida’s threatened species, which means they are likely to become endangered in the near future unless steps are taken to protect them. Referred to as a keystone species, tortoises have an enormous impact on the local environment. The word keystone comes from an architectural term dealing with the construction of a building, meaning that if one key part were removed the whole building would tumble down. The gopher tortoise is a keystone species because of its burrow.  Gopher tortoise burrows offer shelter and nesting grounds to over 300 other species!

The Gopher Tortoise is one of the many species of animals living in North Port's neighborhoods. Here are some resources about this protected species:

City of North Port's Habitat Sightings Map

General Information

Education Corner

Gopher Tortoise Management Plan and Permitting Guildelines

Florida Gopher Tortoise App