Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
Listing Status: and
The gopher tortoise is a large, (shell 15 to 37 centimeters or 5.9 to 14.6 inches long) dark-brown to grayish-black terrestrial turtle with elephantine hind feet, shovel-like forefeet, and a gular projection beneath the head on the yellowish, hingeless plastron or undershell (Ernst and Barbour 1972). The sex of individual turtles can usually be determined by shell dimensions. A male turtle has a greater degree of lower shell concavity, and a longer gular projection. However, the sex of tortoises at maturity size is difficult to determine (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 199O).
The FWS is currently monitoring the following populations of the Gopher tortoise
Population location: Wherever found west of Mobile and Tombigbee Rivers in AL, MS, and LA
Listing status: Threatened
- States/US Territories in which this population is known to or is believed to occur: Alabama , Louisiana , Mississippi
- US Counties in which this population is known to or is believed to occur: View All
- USFWS Refuges in which this population is known to occur:
BOGUE CHITTO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, MISSISSIPPI SANDHILL CRANE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Population location: eastern
Listing status: Candidate
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|07/07/1987||Southeast Region (Region 4)||W of of Mobile/Tombigbee Rs.|
|Southeast Region (Region 4)||eastern|
» Candidate Information
|12/05/2014||79 FR 72449 72497||Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions|
|11/22/2013||77 FR 70103 70162||Review of Native Species That are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions|
|11/21/2012||77 FR 69993 70060||Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions|
|10/26/2011||76 FR 66370 66439||Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions|
|11/15/1994||59 FR 58982 59028||ETWP; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species.|
» Federal Register Documents
|Date||Title||Plan Action Status||Plan Status|
|12/26/1990||Gopher Tortoise||View Implementation Progress||Final|
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type|
|04/09/2010||75 FR 18233 18234||5-Year Status Reviews of 10 Southeastern Species; Notice of initiation of reviews; request for information|
» Critical Habitat
No critical habitat rules have been published for the Gopher tortoise.
» Conservation Plans
|HCP Plan Summaries|
|Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners|
|Church of God by Faith|
|City of Palm Bay|
|Johns Island Golf Club (58th Avenue Expansion)|
|Lamar County School Board|
|SHA Plan Summaries|
|Martin Branch Woodland Tract (Lambert) SHA|
|CCA Plan Summaries|
|Gopher Tortoise Candidate Conservation Agreement|
» Life History
No Life History information has been entered into this system for this species.
» Other Resources
NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.
ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.