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Gopher Tortoise Permits

Existing gopher tortoise state protections remain in place

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife decision to not federally list the eastern distinct population segment of gopher tortoises is a significant success, however there is still work to be done. The gopher tortoise will continue to be state-listed as Threatened in Florida and existing state protections will remain in place.

Gopher tortoises and their burrows are protected by state law, and a gopher tortoise relocation permit must be obtained from FWC before disturbing burrows and conducting construction activities (Chapter 68A - 27.003, FL Administrative Code). A disturbance includes any type of work within 25 feet of a gopher tortoise burrow. For information on gopher tortoise relocation permits, refer to the FWC gopher tortoise permitting guidelines webpage. Most activities associated with residential lawn and landscape maintenance do not require a permit provided activities do not collapse gopher tortoise burrows or harm gopher tortoises. For additional guidance on activities that do not require a permit, refer to the Gopher Tortoise Enforcement Policy.

Access FWC’s online permit locator map to find:

  • An Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent
  • Gopher Tortoise Recipient Sites
  • Active and Completed Relocation Permits