Determining if you need a permit for 10 or fewer burrows

Are the burrows on my property occupied?

Gopher tortoise burrows are classified as either potentially occupied or abandoned. A permit is required when a potentially occupied gopher tortoise burrow will be disturbed or otherwise damaged.A potentially occupied gopher tortoise burrow is a burrow that is in good repair and has the classic half-moon shaped entrance.The burrows may have signs of tortoise tracks, droppings, or scrapes from the underside of the shell. However, because tortoises can stay in their burrow for extended periods, especially during the colder months, potentially occupied burrows may have spider webs, dead leaves, or other vegetation around the entrance or apron (the pile of sand at the burrow entrance). The Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines Adobe PDF provide a glossary with additional information on the different burrow classifications.

Gopher Tortoise burrow
Gopher Tortoise Burrow

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FWC Facts:
Along the Florida coast, sea turtles annually make between 40,000 and 84,000 nests. Females nest every 2-3 years, laying several nests on sandy beaches.

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