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Florida Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise

09.18.2004 - I simply found and photographed and then released this fine specimen. The Florida Gopher Tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus is, like most torti, slow. However, unlike most tortoises, it can dig really f'ing well. It digs these amazing burrows, which are like, fifteen feet deep or more. Several wildlife species, such as the rare Indigo Snake, use these burrows for refuge. Unfortunately, the Gopher Tortoise is in trouble. As usual, habitat loss is the problem. There's a lot of land development here in Florida, and much of their habitat is bulldozed. In addition, this slow animal often falls victim to car collisions. It reproduces slowly, so the population probably won't recover well. This doesn't bode well for the endangered Florida Gopher Tortoise or the other animals that use the burrows. It's too bad. I think that this turtle is pretty cool. I like digging animals. They're tough. I like to dig. Well, not much else to say, I guess.

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