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Property owners may conduct an on-site relocation authorized under a 10 or Fewer Burrows permit. To submit a permit application, individuals must register in the online permitting system and pass the e-Learning curriculum.

Property Owner Instructions

Upclose image of Gopher Tortoise

Before applying, be sure you have the following items to ensure a complete application.

  • A site plan showing all construction/development planned for the site (See example below)
  • Findings from burrow surveys. Survey maps listed in Appendix 4 are recommended but not required for 10 or Fewer Burrows on-site permit applications, unless specifically requested by FWC staff reviewing such applications.
  • An aerial photo showing the project boundaries, the on-site recipient area, the location of the pen (if the tortoises are to be penned), and the silt fencing around the construction area to prevent gopher tortoises from re-entering the construction area. The onsite recipient area must include at least 750 square feet of suitable gopher tortoise habitat that is at least 10 feet wide (e.g., 10 ft by 75 ft). Half of the recipient area must be at least 25 feet from construction boundaries.
  • If habitat suitability in the designated recipient area is not clear from the aerial photo, Google Earth, Google Street View or the county property appraiser’s website, please attach photos representative of the on-site recipient area.

Application Process

  1. If you have not previously registered in the online permitting system, create your user profile. Please record your user ID and password for future use.
  2. From the landing page, select "Apply for a New Permit.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select "Gopher Tortoise 10 or Fewer Burrows.
  4. Under "Filer Type," located at the top of the application, select "Applicant."
  5. Click on the link directing you to complete the e-Learning curriculum and register for the course.
  6. After reviewing the course material and successfully completing the online quiz, please click on the link provided to continue the application process. Please note that you may need to re-enter the username and password that you set up for the FWC online permitting system.

Example Site Plan

Two example site plans with tortoise burrows outside of development area. Items notated on the first plan are home, lawn, silt fence, buffer zone, and burrows. Second plan has building, parking lot, retention pond, boundary, development footprint, silt fence, burrows, and undisturbed green space.

Example site plans. No permits are necessary in these examples as the tortoise burrows are outside of the 25-foot burrow around the development footprint.

Should you need additional assistance, please contact your FWC regional gopher tortoise biologist.