Gopher Tortoise Day: SWFL celebrates threatened reptile’s big day

Apr 10, 2024 | Gopher Tortoise, In the News

Nonprofits, like the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, see the widespread protection needed for reptiles, especially considering they’re constantly in harm’s way.

White flags and dozens of poles across open land might lead you to believe it’s just another development site in Cape Coral.

“Each one of these poles marks a gopher tortoise burrow, and gopher tortoises dig burrows into the ground. And that’s where they live,” said Janet Windisch, the corresponding secretary for the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife.

The Cape Coral Wildlife Trust owns 69 of those lots across the city. Each of them has dozens of gopher tortoises, perhaps huddled inside their burrows or wandering around grazing on their favorite veggies.

Gopher tortoises are one of the oldest living species on the planet, but the species is categorized as ‘regionally threatened,’ and that’s why Lee County is celebrating the tortoise species on its special day.

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