Burrowing owls defenders say heavy equipment for Hurricane Ian debris is crushing underground nests

Feb 3, 2023 | Advocacy, Burrowing Owls, Gopher Tortoise, In the News

The passionate defenders of Cape Coral’s burrowing owls are livid now that tractors are clearing debris from Hurricane Ian out of the city’s canals and possibly crushing dozens of owl and gopher tortoise burrows.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission confirmed it has opened an investigation into the matter.

Cheryl Anderson, a member of the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, says cleanup crews from out-of-state are running the tractors over their private land, which are filled with burrowing owl and gopher tortoises burrows, and pulling hurricane debris out of the canals while destroying the healthy vegetation along each side.

“It’s a disaster to the wildlife. It has to be stopped right now,” Anderson said. “It’s a frightening thing, and the destruction is happening every single day.“

canal clearing