Volunteers Needed for Gopher Tortoise Burrow Survey at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Juvenile gopher tortoise ( Gopherus polyphemus ) at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve (photograph by GLH)

Juvenile gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve (photograph by GLH)

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve (St. Petersburg, Florida) is home to the largest remaining population of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in the southern Pinellas Peninsula. Preserve visitors can easily watch this threatened species foraging in the uplands, as well as view their burrows. These burrows serve as important homes or refugia for at least 364 other species that occur throughout the tortoise’s range.

A new gopher tortoise burrow survey will be conducted throughout the preserve's uplands during April-May 2016.  Conducted by Heinrich Ecological Services, this survey will provide data resulting in the production of a new distribution map, a revised estimate of population size, and determination of tortoise density per management unit.  A large number of volunteers will be needed to complete this project.  This is an opportunity for individuals to learn about the ecology of this threatened species, while participating in actual wildlife research. 

Please contact george@heinrichecologicalservices.com or (727) 599-1843 for additional information on how to become involved with this project.