Gopher Tortoise

.

The gopher tortoise is one of five North American tortoise species and is the only tortoise naturally found east of the Mississippi River in coastal scrub and pine flatwood habitats of the southeast United States.

The gopher tortoise is considered a “keystone” species because its burrows provide benefits to more than 350 other species.

In all their inhabiting southeastern states, the gopher tortoise is considered endangered or threatened.  In Florida, it is listed as “threatened”.

.

DSC_5709-1 22221

Gopher Tortoise

.

To get a chance to possibly see this 9-15″ (23-38 cm) dry-land turtle, we traveled not far to Rena Point.  With perfect conditions for the gopher tortoise, roadside rescues are brought to this enclosed, protected area that were not able to be returned to the wild.

We explored the area and trail for about an hour with no sightings and returned to the parking lot.  And this is where we found this gopher tortoise doing a little foraging not too far from our car.  😏

.

DSC_1290-1 22221

Gopher Tortoise

.

DSC_1287-1 22221

Gopher Tortoise

.

More information on the gopher tortoise posted at Rena Point, if you’re interested!

DSC_5713-1

.

.

30 thoughts on “Gopher Tortoise

    • Thank you, Eliza, he certainly does look prehistoric! I did get an open mouth shot but it was a bit blurred, they have several rows of tiny teeth. 😲 I was glad to see it healthy looking.

  1. Love these shots and the information! Back in 2012 our son and daughter-in-law took us to see the “turtles” living in the dunes on Amelia Beach in Florida. Thanks to your post I now know they were actually gopher tortoises. We were enchanted and enjoyed watching them go about their business for well over an hour. Your captures are beautiful!

    • Thank you, Barbara! How cool is that, so glad you’ve seen these prehistoric creatures! The coastal sand dunes are perfect habitat for these turtles to dig their burrows. 😊

  2. These keystone species are so interesting, showing how interconnected everything is, more than we could imagine. Thanks for sharing this. My Mum once had two tortoises living in her garden, who then had babies, it was lovely!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: