Media Release

Gopher Tortoise Management Plan

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:00 AM
4:45 p.m.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is proposing to upgrade the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) from a Species of Special Concern to the status of Threatened.  The reasons for this change, which will increase the protection and regulation of this species, are based on habitat loss and a decline in the numbers of gopher tortoises over the last 30 years.
The FWC has prepared a draft management plan for the gopher tortoise, and is now seeking comments regarding conservation recommendations and expected economic, social, environmental and ecological impacts of implementing the management plan.  The management plan provides the framework for conserving and managing the gopher tortoise in Florida.  The goal of this management plan is to restore and maintain secure, viable populations of gopher tortoises throughout the species' current range in Florida by addressing habitat loss.
Here is the link to FWC's press release:
The press release includes discussion about the Panama City Crayfish which does not apply to Alachua County. 
This is the direct link to the management plan:
The document is large, 121 pages.  The plan includes details about improving habitat, increasing protected habitat, restocking gopher tortoises and reducing the number of gopher tortoises that die on development sites.
FWC has issued a call for interested persons to take a look at the draft management plans for gopher tortoises over the next 45 days, until April 4, and share their thoughts about how to make the plans better.   Written comments on the gopher tortoise management plan should be addressed to Gopher Tortoise Management Plan, 620 South Meridian Street, Mail Station 2A, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600, or submitted to the following email address:
FWC staff will incorporate comments into the plans before the agency's Commissioners review them at their June meeting.
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen Hofstetter, Senior Environmental Planner at (352) 264-6811 or Michael Drummond, Senior Environmental Planner at 352-264-6812.


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).