Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent
Authorized gopher tortoise agents are individuals who are permitted by FWC for some or all of the following activities: surveying, trapping, marking, transporting, and relocating gopher tortoises. Each agent permit will clearly state what the agent is allowed to do and will be conditioned accordingly. Agent permits are authorizations to the agents and the assistants under their supervision to conduct the activities specified.
Use of an authorized agent is required for:
- all off-site relocation projects, regardless of capture method;
- on-site relocation projects that involve the relocation of more than 10 burrows.
- on-site relocation projects that involve any method of capture other than bucket trapping, live trapping, or hand shovel excavation.
Authorized Agent permits will not allow relocation of tortoises except when accompanied by a FWC relocation permit such as a 10 or Fewer Burrows permit, a Conservation permit, a Temporary Exclusion permit. Authorized agent permits are not issued for scientific collection or research on gopher tortoises.
Requirements for Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agents
Authorized agents must be well qualified to perform the gopher tortoise conservation actions for which they are requesting permission. Agents will likely be the first point of contact many citizens have when they are advised that gopher tortoises are protected. Agents must accurately represent FWC policies, guidelines, and rules to the general public and specifically to their clients. As a benefit of receiving this permit, agents will have access to a streamlined online permitting process for certain gopher tortoise permit approvals. Please refer to the FWC gopher tortoise permitting guidelines (1MB) for specifics on the experience required to qualify for an authorized gopher tortoise agent permit.
In lieu of experience, some activities can be authorized after the successful completion of an FWC-approved training course. Training courses offered by Kleinfelder, Wildlands Conservation, and Common Ground Ecology have been approved by FWC. Successful completion of any of these training courses will be accepted (for up to 2 years following course completion) for purposes of meeting the requirements for the Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent permit.
Authorized Agent and Recipient Site locator
If you are looking for authorized gopher tortoise agent or a recipient site location and contact information, please access our online locator map.
Apply for an Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent Permit
If you are interested in applying to become an authorized gopher tortoise agent, please visit the FWC gopher tortoise online permitting site. A user name and password is required. Please refer to the authorized gopher tortoise agent permit application checklist for a list of items needed to complete the online application process. A paper-based application for the authorized gopher tortoise agent permit is also available, but online application submission is preferred to help expedite a more timely review process.
Renew Authorized Agent Permit
Authorized agent permits can be renewed at the request of the permittee through a permit amendment process before permit expiration. Authorized agent permits issued or renewed before implementation of the 2020 Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines (11/2/20) have a two year expiration date. Authorized agent permits issued or renewed under the 2020 Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines have a four year expiration date. The permit expiration date is listed on the agent permit in the upper right corner on the first page of the permit. If a permit amendment is not submitted before expiration, the application is processed as a new permit and requires full experience/training and a mitigation contribution of $544.00. To learn more about the renewal process, please review the Authorized Agent Renewal Training available on the FWC E-learning site.
For More Information
If you are interested in searching for an authorized gopher tortoise agent, please visit the online locator map.
The permitting guidelines that include the full description on authorized gopher tortoise agent permits are available for download on our website.
If you have questions on gopher tortoise permitting please contact the gopher tortoise conservation biologist in your region.
If you are interested in providing an FWC approved authorized agent training course, refer to the FWC training course outline requirements and submit a proposed course syllabus to Katherine Gentry at Katherine.Gentry@MyFWC.com.