Wildlands offers gopher tortoise survey, relocation, and recipient site services. We are committed to ensuring that gopher tortoise work is conducted thoroughly and professionally to protect gopher tortoises and commensal species across the state.

Our goal is to provide exceptional permitting services, carried out with industry-leading expertise and efficiency. Our staff are Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agents and have over 50 collective years of experience in gopher tortoise conservation including ecological and policy research, permitting, relocation, habitat management, monitoring, and training.

Our team devotes great effort to champion gopher tortoise conservation; our staff are members of the Gopher Tortoise Council Executive Committee, provide input on the Gopher Tortoise Technical Assistance Group (GTTAG), and educate the public and professionals by providing Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent Training certified by FWC.

We provide all services related to gopher tortoises including:

  • Permitting

  • Surveying

  • Mapping

  • Capture and Relocation via Mechanical Excavation, Bucket and Live Trapping, and Hand Shovel Excavation

  • Recipient Site Permitting and Monitoring

  • Identification of Potential Recipient Sites

  • Tortoise Population and Vegetation Monitoring

  • Line Transect Distance Sampling (LTDS) Surveys and Burrow Scoping

  • Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent Training Courses

To learn more about the laws and regulations protecting gopher tortoises in Florida, visit the FWC Gopher Tortoise website.

Gopher Tortoise Training

For more information on gopher tortoise conservation, email Wildlands at info@wildlandsconservation.org.

The Gopher Tortoise License Plate

Wildlands Conservation is working to help create a specialty gopher tortoise license plate in the state of Florida. Specialty license plates have been an essential part of the conservation strategy for other Florida species including the manatee, Florida panther, and sea turtles, and we wish to add the gopher tortoise to this list.

The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a threatened species in the state of Florida, primarily due to loss of upland habitat. A keystone species, gopher tortoises dig burrows that are used by more than 360 other animal species, including some that live nowhere else. In order to bring awareness to the plight of the gopher tortoise, we are hoping to create this specialty license plate and propose that the funds generated by the plate be used for gopher tortoise habitat conservation, habitat management, and research. With your help, we can help protect gopher tortoises and their upland habitat.

Inspired by wildlife rehabber Chelsey Vowles, the idea for the plate formed after she witnessed countless gopher tortoises being killed and injured while trying to cross the road. Chelsey’s passion for healing and helping tortoises was the spark necessary to get the license plate started

Gopher Tortoise License Plate

Wildlands is working with talented conservation illustrator Laurelin Sitterly to create a gopher tortoise license plate design. The Gopher Tortoise Council and Conservation Florida have also provided letters of support for this plate. For more updates, follow Wildlands Conservation on Facebook.

Gopher Tortoise Training Class

Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent Training

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation organization, part of our mission is to share accurate and up-to-date information with environmental professionals who work hands-on with threatened and endangered species. Wildlands Conservation offers Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-approved training courses that meet the requirements for the Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent permit.