The gopher tortoise is a threatened species that is protected by state law (68A-27.003). Gopher tortoises subject to impact from development or land clearing must be relocated by qualified professionals from the project area that is subject to development.
Florida Environmental and Land Services, Inc. has a trained and qualified staff that provides gopher tortoise surveys of private, public or government owned property subject to development. The survey will provide the client with the location and activity designation of each gopher tortoise burrow (if any) located on the property. Using a high precision GPS and GIS technologies, FELSI will superimpose the location and activity designation of each burrow on a recent aerial image, with the property and/or project boundary clearly delineated. FELSI will coordinate with the client and FWC through the permitting process and will formulate a relocation plan that may include permanent or temporary relocation on-site, or to a suitable offsite mitigation property. If relocation is required, FELSI will provide excavation or trapping of burrows identified as potentially occupied. If a tortoise is captured, FESLI will relocate the tortoise in accordance with the relocation plan. In certain instances where the project boundary may differ from the parcel boundary, the client may be granted permission to temporarily fence-off the project boundary in an effort to prevent gopher tortoises from occupying or utilizing resources within the project area during project activities. In such cases, removal of gopher tortoises will not be required.
A gopher tortoise peers from his burrow during a gopher tortoise survey conducted by FELSI staff members
A potentially occupied gopher tortoise burrow is excavated during a relocation effort conducted by FELSI staff members