Mission Statement

Dedicated to Protection, Preservation and Education.

Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife is a volunteer organization whose purpose is to preserve and enhance the habitats of protected wildlife species and to educate the community about Cape Coral’s wildlife resources.

Important Links

Wildlife Contacts

To Report:

Burrowing Owls, Gopher Tortoises:
CCFW 239-980-2593
Injured Wildlife:
CROW 239-472-3644
Harassment of Wildlife:
FWC 888-404-3922
Cape Coral Code Enforcement:
Rotary Park Wildlife Info:
Monitor Lizards:
CC Environmental Resources 239-574-0785
CROW: 239 472-3644


Adopt an Owl Program

Adopt A Burrowing Owl 

Adopt Me!           Psst… the others are afraid of heights!

CCFW launches the “Adopt A Cape Coral Burrowing Owl” program to raise money to preserve this endangered species that we share our neighborhoods with. Multiple Levels of sponsorship are available from $25 to $10,000. You can access and print the brochure explaining the program by clicking here


What’s at Stake

The Florida burrowing owl and gopher tortoise are designated a threatened species by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The designation of “Threatened” is given to species whose prospects of survival are in jeopardy due in part to commercial and residential development.

Did you know that the City of Cape Coral has Burrowing Owl and Gopher Tortoise protection ordinances? Those who intentionally harass or harm the burrowing owls/ gopher tortoises or collapse their burrows will be subject to penalties ranging from a $500 fine to 60 days in jail.

Link to City Code:


Research by Dr. John Herman of Florida Gulf Coast University demonstrated that “the urban gopher tortoise populations in Cape Coral represent a self-sustaining viable conservation unit.” For this reason, Professor Herman “fully supports and encourages the establishment of a land trust of current vacant lots…for the conservation of gopher tortoises specifically and wildlife in general.”

In fact, more than 350 other species – burrowing owls, coyotes, snakes, foxes, mice and more use tortoise burrows to seek shelter and escape heat, fires, and predators. The gopher tortoise is considered a “keystone species.” Conservation Biologist Rachel King of Florida Fish & Wildlife further explained “If they disappear from the environment, the ecosystem will collapse on itself.”

Find out more about Cape Coral Wildlife Trust by visiting here: https://capecoralwildlifetrust.org/

News Articles

Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife hosts the annual Ground Owl day - Fox 4 - 

There recently was a coyote sighting near Tarpon Landings 6021 Silver King Blvd - Read for more information on Coyotes.

Read about Burrowing Owls on the American Birding Association December 2022 Edition.

Overfishing: How Does It Threaten Our Fish Population? - YourBassGuy.com 

How Florida wildlife is faring after Hurricane Ian, CNN, 11/8/22

Cape Coral's burrowing owls may have gotten lucky during Hurricane Ian - News-Press, 11/3/22

Hurricane Ian: Did sharks leave Southwest Florida waters as they did during Hurricane Charley

BearWise tips for fall

Biodegradable Plastic Bags: A Sustainable Future

Burrowing owls displaced from habitats by developers in Fort Myers - ABC-7, July 4, 2022

Saving Florida’s Gopher Tortoises: Group rescues reptiles from death by development (msn.com) - Orlando Sentinel

Cape Coral plants 100 trees on Veterans and Kamal Parkway

"Casa Grande, AZ woman saves several colonies of burrowing owls", SF Gate, June 19,2022

Threatened burrowing owls number in the thousands in Cape Coral. Now they are being counted, protected  Fort Myers News Press June 8, 2022

Meet the Cape Coral Resident who really gives a hoot about the city's official bird   Fort Myers News Press June 2, 2022

CROW Rescues Injured Nestling Purple Martin

Glass Collisions: Preventing Bird Window Strikes

Reducing Bird Collisions with Glass

Truck Drives over lot littered with gopher tortoise burrows

CCFW's Annual Burrowing Owl Photo Contest

EPA - Safely Use Rodent Bait Products

Thousands of dollars raised to protect burrowing owls at annual Cape Coral festival

Brewery in Cape Coral launches beer to help burrowing owls

Burrowing owl nest destroyed in Cape Coral

May 3, 2022 Beloved Cape Coral burrowing owl dies from suspected rat poison - NBC2 News (nbc-2.com)

Beloved Cape Coral burrowing owl dies from suspected rat poison

April 30, 2022  Burrowing Owl dies in Cape Coral

April 22, 2022 Fort Myers New Press Amendment would give Floridians "Right to Clean and Healthy Waters"

March 31, 2022 Northwest Neighborhood Association President Promotes CCWT!!!

March 31, 2022 Cape Coral Breeze: State Requires Lizard Habitat Upgrade

March 27, 2022 NBC-2 Save Green Day the Iguana's Life

March 11, 2022 WGCU goes in search of feathered friends by way of the 20th Annual Burrowing Owl Festival (Video)

February 25, 2022 Cape Coral's citizen sanctuary (Print and Audio)

March 21, 2022 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

April 24, 2022  Ding Darling Day at Lake Park

February 25, 2022 NPR Cape Coral's Citizen Sanctuary

February 26, 2022 Gulf Shore Life Burrowing Owl Festival

February 21, 2022 abc-7 Cape Coral Working to Protect Burrowing Owls as Nesting Season Begins

February 19, 2022   Florida Wildlife Federation FWC Extends Gopher Tortoise Waiver Without Public Debate

February 15, 2022  Everglades Trust

January 31, 2022  Cape Coral Breeze  The Pied Piper of rat control 

Punxsutawney Phil? Pshaw. Burrowing owl to predict the brrrr

October 20,2021 Ecowatch   California Vineyards use Owls Instead of Pesticide

January 5, 2022 Floridians and their Scrub Jay: Can they coexist?


December 22, 2021 American Birding Association

American Birding Association:  Burrowing Owl, the 2022 ABA Bird of the Year!

December 13, 2021 Fort Myers News Press

Looking for a unique gift? How about adopting a burrowing owl

November 23, 2021 Wink News Environmental advocates worry gopher tortoises will lose protections

November 11, 2021 Cape Coral Breeze  Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife Owl Adoption Makes a Great Gift for the Holdiays


November 4, 2021 NBC2 Trick-or-Treaters run over, trample several owl burrows, conservation group says

Cape Coral Breeze September 16, 2021 CCFW opposes harvesting saw palmetto berries in 20/20 preserves

Fox4 News July 14  2021, Burrowing owl nests being threatened by developments and natural causes

April 14, 2021 NBC2 Burrowing owlets rescued from flooded Cape Coral burrow

Burrowing owlets rescued from flooded Cape Coral burrow

Febuary 16, 2021  NBC2   Nesting season underway for Cape Coral burrowing owls

February 7, 2021 - Cape Coral Breeze: Cape’s Ground Owl Day remembers burrowing owls — and their supporter   https://www.capecoralbreeze.com/news/local-news/2021/02/02/capes-ground-owl-day-remembers-burrowing-owls-and-their-supporter/

February 7, 2021 - FOX4 News - Ground Owl will predict the weather for Southwest Florida 


January 22, 2021 - Cape Coral Breeze: Mayor Joe Coviello was a Wildlife Supporter


1. Cape Coral Breeze:  Saving SW Florida One... guest editorial Oct. 2019


2.  News Press:  "On a Mission" CCWT finds homes for gopher tortoises and burrowing owls March 2018


3.  CC Breeze:  Much done, much more to do...Carl - guest opinion April 2019


4.  NBC-2 - Cape Coral could get a park...gopher tortoises April 2019


5.  News Press - CC Designate land...May 1, 2019


6.  Fox 4 CC considers preserving wildlife...May 3, 2019


7. NBC-2 City gopher tortoise ordinance June 9, 2019


8. CC Breeze Trust Cuts Ribbon  Feb. 13, 2018



Wink poison photo


Burrowing Owl babies can drown in rainy weather. Mom can bring them out of the burrow if flooded but then they get dispersed around the lot. They need to be gathered and kept until the burrow dries out. If the babies are under 4 weeks old it is usually not a happy ending unless they can fly.

We need all efforts for whoever can help. Please bring a box or ice chest to put them in.

Please call us if you help 239-980-2593.

Also FWC has a link to report dead birds. 888-404-FWCC (3922) They can keep track to see where the high mortality rate is thru out the state.

Cape Coral homeowner volunteers making burrowing owl perches by the thousands - NBC2 News, March 2023 (Thank you Steve Jacobson!)

Special to THE NEWS PRESS - 11/3/22:

Cape Coral's burrowing owls may have gotten lucky during Hurricane Ian - click headline

Hurricane Ian Update...     Don't bury a burrowing owl nest with debris during clean-up

owl ian
Please be careful with the owl burrows.

WINK NEWS 10/25/2022

Burrowing owls returning to a damaged habitat after Hurricane Ian

(click on below for video link)

Latest News

Published on PetaPixel by Devon Matthews
Photos of Florida’s Fight to Protect Threatened Burrowing Owlsburrowing owls


Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife presents author and historian Robert N. Macomber whose topic will be “THE PRESIDENT AND THE DEVILFISH”.

Admission is free. All are welcome. Donations accepted.

Rotary Park Environmental Center

5505 Rose Garden Road, Cape coral, FL USA

6:30 PM ​Social Gathering
7:00 PM​Presentation
7:45​​Book Signing

“THE PRESIDENT AND THE DEVILFISH” ~ Join multi-award-winning author and renowned lecturer Robert N. Macomber as he shares the story of how the most famous conservationist of our presidency, Theodore Roosevelt, visited the islands of SW Florida in 1917 on an expedition to obtain a large Devilfish (Giant Coastal Manta Ray) for the Smithsonian Institution. Learn of what else was going on in his life right then, of his motley crew, Roosevelt's instant love for the islands, the actual hunt, and what happened afterward. This was the last great outdoor adventure of Theodore Roosevelt's life, and his legacy lives on along these islands in some beautiful ways.

Nick the FWC biologist would like to know if anyone spots banded owls in Cape Coral.
Nick Jennings phone is 813-245-7976  You will need to let him know the address or general location.
Also if you find any that have died and have bands- let him know with a photo and the location.
He has banded some on lots of CCWT and all over-he is doing a year long study about their movement.


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife Monthly Meeting

Rotary Park Environmental Center, 5505 Rose Garden Rd., Cape Coral, FL  33914





Our October Volunteer of the Month is a highly dedicated and respected person instilled with patience and cheerfulness, offering her help when needed.

Not only does our volunteer answer our website emails, she also does burrow maintenance, GPS, helps Bernadette and distributes our homeowner and lawn care company fliers.

It is an honor to introduce Dorothy Browning as our October Volunteer of the month.

In addition to FACEBOOK, you can now find us on: 

Twitter - @CCFWflorida
Instagram - @ccfriendsofwildlife

SB2500 Fertilizer Ban (980 × 730 px)


Clean, healthy water is an economic driver for our tourism-based economy and is critical to the ecological viability of our many wild species and places. However, the late inclusion of line 146 to SB 2500 would be detrimental to not only our waterways but to our economy and way of life.

Line 146 would preempt local cities and counties from creating or modifying fertilizer ordinances. Such ordinances are common-sense solutions for many Florida communities during summer as they prevent nutrient pollution and limit the impact on our water.

Furthermore, line 146 undermines home rule and contributes directly to the further impairment of our waterways, so we need your help.

Please tell Governor DeSantis to protect the health and livelihood of Floridians and our water by VETOING line item 146 of SB 2500.

Why We Do What We Do... <3

Photo Credit: Terilyn Downes


Butterfly House Visitor Saves Tonka the Tortoise 


May 1, 2023, in the Butterfly House, Tonka the African Sulcata tortoise (who lives in the Butterfly House) decided to munch on a piece of plastic. Cheryl A. pulled some out of her mouth, but she had a bunch still in there.  I tried to get the remaining plastic, but she had a vice grip on it.
A visitor from Ohio named Dominique offered to help. She grabbed the piece before Tonka could clamp down with her strong beak, and with one quick motion, pulled it out!
She may have saved the animal's life.
The Butterfly House volunteers and Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, extend a huge thank you to Dominque. Tonka will now have a chance to live a long, long time... life expectancy is 70 years or more! - Thank you! Lori

BOF pix

The Board of Directors of Cape Coral Wildlife, Inc. would like to recognize the following major sponsors of the 2023 Burrowing Owl Festival - Wildlife & Environmental Expo. If you are personally acquainted with a sponsor or business, please thank them when you get a chance.

2023 Burrowing Owl Festival – Wildlife & Environmental Exposition

 Wise Old Owl Level - $2,000, and/or endowment of land/lot in Cape Coral

Jeanne Cormier - $2000

Incredible Bank - $2,000

Fledgling Level  $500 - $1999

Williamson & Sons, Inc., Marine Construction  $1,000.00

William Barrett - $1,000

Patricia Guard - $1,000

Hagaman Trust - $1,000

Shelley Oram & Charlotte Taft - $750

Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village $650

7 Cities Law - $600

Breeze Newspapers - $550

Ian Vincent & Associates, Environmental Consulting - $500.00

Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership  (CHNEP)- $500.00

Fifth Third Bank - $500

Hatchling  $350 - $499

Sandy & Stacy Hammerberg - $350

Carl & Charlotte Veaux - $350

Friends of the Festival $150 - $349

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation - $300

Key West Express - $160

Trebing Tile - $150

Lawrence Kearny Chapter of the DAR - $150


"CHARGING" - Nature of Cape Coral" Bus Tour - Cape Coral Wildlife Trust's Gopher Tortoise Preserve

Imagine having the rare opportunity to have this "CLOSE ENCOUNTER" happen to you! Thank you to Charles Wellhausen for sharing this amazing video!

Thank you to Charles Wellhausen for sharing this amazing video! (<-- CLICK ON LINK!)

This big guy suddenly stopped munching on flowers, picked out Charles from a group of eight, and marched right for him, non-stop! Charles did not move a muscle. This "armored soldier" came within inches, said "hello", then turned around, and scurried back into his burrow. These close encounters with nature are rare, and so cherished. Don't miss out! Call (239) 549-4606

Cape Coral Wildlife Trust NEEDS Our Help! Donate Today!

Please consider a donation to help us preserve our native wildlife and habitats!  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE and DONATE

3 in a Burrow

Burrowing Owl Starter Burrow - Learn more...

As Cape Coral grows, there will be less and less empty lots for the Burrowing Owls to call home, and loss of habitat is a primary reason why Burrowing Owl populations decline. Fortunately there is a solution to habitat loss that is working quite well.  Homeowners are being encouraged to put "starter" burrows on their front laws.

To view a video on creating a starter burrow: Click Here

For more information: Click Here


Captains for Clean Water

Take Action: seal the deal on the improved Lake Okeechobee Operations Plan

ACTION ALERT! As the LOSOM (Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual) process is nearing its conclusion, the Army Corps of Engineers has released a draft of the final lake operations manual and requested public feedback.
Thankfully, the draft looks good and represents the most equitable plan. Now, we need you to send an email to the Corps in support of their proposal https://captainsforcleanwater.org/losom-final/

Read more | link

Burrowing Owl Festival Wildlife and Environmental Expo

CCFW YouTube Channel

Learn about CCWT and other topics on our YouTube channel

Check out our CCFW YouTube Channel. We have many original and informative short videos with links to news articles.  Click Here for YouTube


CCFW's sister organization, Cape Coral Wildlife Trust was formed in 2017 to acquire land for habitat preservation, education, and research, of Cape Coral's indigenous wildlife. As of Sept. 1, 2021, CCWT owns 50 lots where gopher tortoises and burrowing owls live and is actively seeking many more lots.

For information about CCWT and how you can help us acquire and preserve land for wildlife, go to: capecoralwildlifetrust.org



Volunteer Opportunity

 Here is an important way to help working directly with wildlife. Supplied with City maps, weed wackers, safety equipment, and lots of enthusiasm this group of dedicated volunteers trim burrow with high weeds, install PVC pipes and perches on newly found burrows, repair and clean up existing burrows. They also have obtained GPS coordinates for every known burrow and submitted this information to the City of Cape Coral to be put in the City data base.


Make a Donation

Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife is a 501 (c) (3) Non-profit organization that relies heavily on donations and fund raisers to support their work.

All monies received by Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife are used to help protect the wildlife of Cape Coral. All members are volunteers, with no paid members.

Donations to can easily made through PayPal, or checks can be mailed to:

Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife

POB 152761

Cape Coral, FL 33915

To Report:

Burrowing Owls, Gopher Tortoises: CCFW 239-980-2593

Injured Wildlife: CROW 239-4723644

Harassment of Wildlife: FWC 888-404-3922

Rotary Park Wildlife Info: 239-549-4606

Monitor Lizards: CC Environmental Resources 239-574-0785

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