Gopher Tortoise - Gopherus polyphemus

Gopher_Tortoise

*The colored areas of the map above represent parishes with currently known records for the given species
 (Source: Jeff Boundy, LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries). By no means does it represent the full range of the species in the state, nor does it necessarily mean that a species can be found throughout the parish with the record. This is provided as a guide to where you might be able to find these species in the state and to aid in identification. A descriptive explanation of the range of each species can be found in the text below.


Other Common Names: 

Subspecies: No subspecies recognized.

Description: 

Similar Species: 

Species Range: 

Louisiana Range:  Eastern Florida Parishes of Tangipahoa, Washington and St. Tammany.

Habitat:

Natural History: 

Best Time and Place to Observe:

Global Conservation Status:  Gopher Tortoises are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Their NatureServe Global Conservation Status Rank is G3 (Vulnerable).

Federal Conservation Status:  The Gopher Tortoise is a federally threatened species in the western part of their range, including Louisiana, and a candidate species in the eastern part of their range.

Louisiana Conservation Status:  Gopher Tortoises have a ranking of S1 (critically imperiled because of extreme rarity – 5 or fewer known extant populations) in Louisiana. Gopher Tortoises have a State Protection Status of ‘threatened’, meaning taking or harassment of this species is a violation of state and federal laws.

*** If you live in the range of this species in Louisiana and believe you may have observed this species please let me know (take a picture if possible), as there may be more unknown populations in the state.***

Author's Remarks: I have never observed this species wild in the state, though I have been to one of their remaining populations, where I observed active burrows. In late 2016 I was involved in getting a suspected waif female tortoise found on a road in a subdivision in St. Tammany Parish to state officials. I have seen this species in both Mississippi and South Carolina, but do not have any good photos from those trips.

All images on site are sole property of B.M. Glorioso. To use any images on this site please contact me at:  gloriosob429@gmail.com © 2017