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Gopher tortoise at Doerun Pitcherplant Bog WMA

Gopher tortoise at Doerun Pitcherplant Bog WMA (Joe Burnam/DNR)

By DAN CHAPMAN

Typically, animals like the Florida panther lose their Southern habitat, dwindle perilously close to extinction and end up on the endangered species list. Federal, state and non-profit groups hustle to raise money and conserve land to bolster the populations with the chance, one day, of delisting it.

The gopher tortoise, though, just might buck the trend.

An at-risk species in Georgia, Florida and parts of Alabama and South Carolina, the tank-like tortoise is the recipient of an unprecedented, high-dollar collaboration between government agencies, NGOs and the private sector to keep Gopherus polyphemus from ever gracing the threatened or endangered species list. …

Read the rest of this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service post about the unprecedented effort Georgia is leading to conserve gophers.

Dan Chapman is a public affairs specialist with the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast region. Find conservation articles like this on the agency’s website. Included: Longleaf pine for Georgians.

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