Conservation permits are intended for the relocation of gopher tortoises to on-site preserves or off-site certified recipient sites. Conservation permits are issued when more than 10 burrows will be impacted on a development site and for subsequent activity on properties undergoing development of phased projects when a 10 or Fewer Burrows permit (or a Five or Fewer Tortoise permit) has been previously issued.
Requirements for Conservation permits
In accordance with the requirements of Rules 68A-25.002 and 68A-27.003 (F.A.C.), a permit for a gopher tortoise capture/relocation/release activity must be secured from FWC before initiating any relocation work.
An authorized gopher tortoise agent is required for all capture and relocation activities associated with this permit. Authorized agents may assist the landowner or developer in obtaining the required relocation permit.
Before issuance of the permit, mitigation contributions for Conservation permits representing 100% of the estimated total amount due will be submitted. A variable scale for these additional contributions is based on the overall conservation value of the action being permitted and the estimated number of gopher tortoises being impacted by the project. Preferred conservation actions, such as responsibly relocating tortoises to long-term protected lands (public or private), requires a lower contribution per tortoise than relocations to short-term protected or unprotected lands or relocations after settlement of law enforcement cases. All mitigation contributions support gopher tortoise conservation actions as specified in the FWC-approved Gopher Tortoise Management Plan .
Authorized Agent and Recipient Site locator
If you are looking for authorized gopher tortoise agent or a recipient site location and contact information, please access our online locator map.
Apply for a Conservation permit
If you are interested in applying for a Conservation permit, please visit the FWC online permit system. You can also access the system to check the status of a submitted application. A paper-based application is also available, but online application submission is preferred to help expedite a more timely review process.
Refer to the conservation permit application checklist for a list of items that will be needed to complete the online application process. Complete applications should be submitted at least 90 days prior to the time needed, although most applications will be processed in 45 days or less. Timely issuance of permits is dependent on receiving all of the required documentation.
You may be eligible for a refund once relocation activities have been completed, the after action report submitted and only if the actual number of gopher tortoises relocated is less than the number permitted. The permittee or their representative must submit the refund request form in order to receive a refund.
For all requirements related to the Conservation permit for gopher tortoise relocation, please download a copy of the Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines.
The permitting guidelines include the full description on gopher tortoise permitting options. If you have questions on gopher tortoise permitting please contact the gopher tortoise conservation biologist in your region.