Protecting the gopher tortoise is critical not only for its long-term survival, but also for the safety and survival of many other animals. In 2007, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) implemented a rule eliminating the "take" of gopher tortoises. A potentially occupied gopher tortoise burrow is a burrow that is in good repair and has the classic half-moon shaped entrance. The gopher tortoise has been deemed "warranted but precluded" for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act, and is listed as a Threatened Species in the state of Florida.


The gopher tortoise is seen as a keystone species because it digs burrows that provide shelter for at least 360 other animal species.

Kleinfelder professional staff offers decades of consulting and training experience in gopher tortoise permitting, capture, relocation and research. Predators are believed to destroy more than 80 percent of gopher tortoise nests. The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a species of turtle in the family Testudinidae.

Tortoise eggs are a favorite of many animals including; raccoons, foxes, skunks, alligators, fire ants, and others. The gopher tortoise is seen as a keystone species because it digs burrows that provide shelter for at least 360 other animal species. G. polyphemus is threatened by predation and habitat destruction. The gopher tortoise is currently listed by the FWC as a Threatened species. Gopher Burrows.
As an authorized gopher tortoise agent, our environmental scientists are permitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to survey, trap, transport, and relocate gopher tortoises. A permit is required when a potentially occupied gopher tortoise burrow will be disturbed or otherwise damaged. Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent Recipient Site Address Search (Relocation Permits Only) Search by Address Region Search Start Over By Region By County Choose your desired region from the drop-down menu to the left. As such, an AA permit is required to conduct specific gopher tortoise related activities in association with relocation and recipient site projects. The gopher tortoise is a representative of the genus Gopherus, which contains the only tortoises native to North America. Gopher tortoise burrows are classified as either potentially occupied or abandoned. Each year the environmental scientists at WRA are instrumental in relocating tortoises via FWC relocation permits. The species is native to the southeastern United States. Gopher tortoise burrows provide shelter from extreme hot and cold temperatures and are a safe place from predators. Gopher tortoises are a federally protected species.

During the aforementioned survey phase, authorized agents locate onsite burrows, both potentially occupied and abandoned. Many animals beside the Gopher Tortoise utilize gopher tortoise burrows. They are threatened by predation and habitat destruction.