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Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise Information

cape coral fl esp d  a
Photo Courtesy of Phil Avram


The Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a protected species “pursuant to Florida Statutes to §372.0725 and it is illegal to kill, harass, disturb or destroy Gopher Tortoises, their eggs or their burrows. The Gopher Tortoise is classified as a "threatened" species by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC). The Gopher Tortoise’s burrow provides shelter for other commensal species such as the Gopher Frog and the Black Indigo Snake.

Links to more information:

Gopher Tortoise Building Permit Procedures
Gopher Tortoise Protection, City Ordinance 20-19
Gopher Tortoise Permits
Before You Build Brochure
Living with Gopher Tortoises Brochure
Burrowing Owl/Gopher Tortoise Affidavit

How Can I Help Protect the Gopher Tortoise?

The City of Cape Coral relies on its dedicated residents, workers, and visitors to report Gopher Tortoise issues to the City of Cape Coral. Protecting the Gopher Tortoise is a high priority for the community.

If you find or encounter any of the following situations:

  • Molesting, harassing, or killing tortoises and/or damaging, filling, or destroying tortoises burrows is a crime. Please report the violations to FWC’s 24 hour hotline at 1-888-404-3922.
  • Injured or wounded tortoises please immediately call the Clinic Rehab of Wildlife (CROW) at 239-472-3644.
  • Report new gopher tortoise locations to planningquestions@capecoral.net