Tag: Gopher Tortoise
The content below has been tagged with the term “Gopher Tortoise.”
October 17, 2018 | 5 minute read
St. Marks, Florida — The images of Hurricane Michael’s rampage across the Panhandle have been seared, by now, into the nation’s collective consciousness: the roofless homes; the mountains of debris; the long lines of anguished people; and the miles of chopped-in-half trees. The worst of the damage came courtesy of winds nearing 155 mph. Michael’s counter-clockwise punch, though, pushed water from the Gulf of Mexico deep inland, swamping small towns, barrier islands and wildlife refuges, particularly along Michael’s eastern edge. Learn more...
September 10, 2018 | 9 minute read
Hobe Sound, Florida — The well-to-do on Jupiter Island wanted the wildlife refuge burned and who was to say no? Not the federal biologists at the refuge across the Intracoastal Waterway. They were eager to accommodate their neighbors and restore the pine scrub habitat. But the stakes — and potential dangers — were high. A prescribed fire, by its nature, is carefully planned and executed to minimize mishaps. Yet, winds shift. Learn more...
May 25, 2018 | 8 minute read
Andalusia, Alabama — A gaggle of biologists, zookeepers, college students and government officials traipsed through the Deep South longleaf pine forest one recent, gorgeous spring morning carefully clutching white pillowcases. They were looking for holes. More specifically, gopher tortoise burrows into which they could deposit their precious cargo of Eastern indigo snakes, aka “Emperors of the Forest.” Southern Alabama including Conecuh National Forest. Map by Roy Hewitt, USFWS. Learn more...
January 23, 2018 | 4 minute read
Before the United States was settled by Europeans, longleaf pine forests covered about 90 million acres of the Southeast. Most of these forests were logged for turpentine and lumber, and by 1975 they had been reduced to about 5 million acres. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is working with countless private landowners, state and federal agencies and conservation groups, to restore the glory of the longleaf. The motivation for many of these conservationists is to help the many at-risk and endangered birds and wildlife that thrive in longleaf forests from the red-cockaded woodpecker to the gopher tortoise. Learn more...
August 22, 2017 | 8 minute read
Atlanta, Georgia – Typically, animals like the Florida panther lose their Southern habitat, dwindle perilously close to extinction and end up on the endangered species list. Federal, state and non-profit groups hustle to raise money and conserve land to bolster the populations with the chance, one day, of delisting it. The gopher tortoise, though, just might buck the trend. An at-risk species in Georgia, Florida and parts of Alabama and South Carolina, the tank-like tortoise is the recipient of an unprecedented, high-dollar collaboration between government agencies, NGOs and the private sector to keep gopherus polyphemus from ever gracing the threatened or endangered species list. Learn more...
August 9, 2017 | 8 minute read
If one of the Southeast’s signature species is the gopher tortoise, so, too, is the towering pine that shades its burrow. The longleaf pine is one of the Southeastern United States’ great trees. When European settlers came to North America, they discovered Pinus palustris. It stretched across 90 million acres, from east Texas to Virginia, and was just what a young nation needed to grow. The wood from the conifer built homes, sailing masts and even roads. Learn more...
July 20, 2017 | 2 minute read
Ben and LouAnn Williams own approximately 3,400 acres of pinelands interspersed with bottomland hardwoods in Putnam County, Florida, between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach. Their property contributes to conservation on a regional scale because it is adjacent to publicly owned conservation areas, creating an important link in a chain of conservation lands from central Florida to the Georgia state line. Sandhill after prescribed burn. Photo by Ben Williams. In 2012, the Williams’ began establishing longleaf pine on their property and reintroduced prescribed burning. Learn more...
May 30, 2018 | 4 minute read
Camp Blanding, flush with federally endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, donates juvenile birds to other wildlife areas across the South. Nearly two-thirds of the National Guard base in Northeast Florida is prime habitat for at-risk gopher tortoises too. More than 10,000 acres of pine and scrub is carefully burned each year to benefit under-threat flora and fauna as well as conservation-friendly longleaf pines. And the joint military base is a critical piece in the creation of a wildlife corridor that connects central Florida to southeast Georgia. Read the full story...
October 16, 2017 | 2 minute read
Mt. Pleasant, Georgia – On Monday, October 16, the Department of Natural Resources will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the acquisition of the final phase of more than 19,000 acres purchased for the Sansavilla Wildlife Management Area. Featuring 12 miles of Altamaha River frontage and one of the largest gopher tortoise populations in Georgia, the area provides fishing opportunities, wildlife watching locations, canoeing, boating, and hunting for deer, turkey, and small game species. Read the full story...