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Gopher Tortoise Day is April 10

Gopher Tortoise Day is this Saturday, April 10th. Since the creation of Gopher Tortoise Day five years ago, April 10th has been designated to celebrate Florida’s only native tortoise. Join us in raising awareness for this threatened species and our effort to preserve the gopher tortoise for future generations!

Want to participate in a Gopher Tortoise day event?

Gopher Tortoise Day events are happening all over Florida! Here are just a few of the examples of the wonderful events you and your family can attend to celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day:

Celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day every day!

The FWC recognizes the critical role that private property owners play in conserving the gopher tortoise and has developed a Gopher Tortoise Friendly Yard Recognition Program to recognize private landowners.

This program will assess the habitat improvements a landowner has made to provide native forage, protect the tortoise and its burrow, and control invasive species. Private landowners who enhance habitat and take steps to protect the gopher tortoise and its burrow will be recognized with a sign (pending availability) and certificate for their property, as well as instructions on how to safely install the sign. These recognition signs can be an effective way to increase the public’s awareness of gopher tortoise conservation efforts.

To learn more about this recognition program, please visit the Gopher Tortoise Friendly Yard Recognition Program website.

Why is raising awareness for the gopher tortoise so important?

The gopher tortoise is the only tortoise native to the Southeastern United States.
Gopher tortoises are currently state-listed as “threatened” in Florida. Without our help these magnificent creatures could end up on the endangered species list.
The gopher tortoise is a keystone species. More than 350 different animals rely on gopher tortoise burrows as a refuge from predators, fire, and extreme temperatures.
Gopher tortoise burrows provide refuge to many other imperiled species, including the Eastern indigo snake, Florida pine snake, Florida mouse, and gopher frog.

Still looking for ways to show your Gopher Tortoise Day pride?

Share your gopher tortoise day celebrations with us. We would love to hear about and see your experiences on Gopher Tortoise Day!

Check out the media section of the Gopher Tortoise Day website for posting ideas:

Share your Gopher Tortoise Day events and activities with us by emailing GTevents@MyFWC.com.
Find example social media posts. Don’t forget to use #GopherTortoiseDay on your social media posts and be sure to mention @MyFWC or tag #FWC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Find examples of a press release. Use our sample press releases as a template for your own Gopher Tortoise Day press release!

For more information about Gopher Tortoise Day, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Gopher Tortoise Education and Outreach Coordinator at GTevents@MyFWC.com