Posted on April 13, 2018 - 04:02 PM
by Marie Pimm PA
Gopher tortoises are active this time of year and have large ranges.
Did you know that gopher tortoises are found in parts of all 67 Florida counties? They are frequently encountered in neighborhoods, along roadways, and in many of Florida’s public parks and forests. These gray or brown tortoises use shovel-like forearms to carve out burrows averaging several yards deep and 5 yards long.
The gopher tortoises is considered a keystone species because it digs burrows that provide shelter for 360 other species of wildlife, called “commensals.” These commensal species include the gopher frog, Florida mouse, eastern indigo snake, and hundreds of invertebrates like beetles and crickets. Without the gopher tortoise, many of these species would not exist.
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