In a hole in the ground there lived a…gopher tortoise??

We have company. There’s a big, fat hole in our front yard indicating the presence of a gopher tortoise (plus, our neighbor across the street saw it digging its burrow).

Guess what? Gopher tortoises are a protected species! You can’t just cover up their hole and hope they’ll go away (I tried that before I knew). You have to either live with it or go through a long process of permits and stuff to get permission (maybe) to trap and move it. So, until further notice, I have to watch out for this big, probably snake-infested, hole in yard.

Most of the gopher tortoise’s life is spent in and around the burrow. The gopher tortoise establishes a well-defined home range which increases in size as the tortoise grows older and larger. For refuge the tortoises dig burrows which average around 5 to 1O feet in depth and may be 1O to 2O feet (or more) in length. The burrow becomes a more or less permanent home although there may be alternate burrows in the area. Several other species may also share gopher tortoise burrows. Some commonly known burrow asssociates include the eastern indigo snake, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, and the gopher frog.

I love Florida.

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11 Responses to In a hole in the ground there lived a…gopher tortoise??

  1. geeky says:

    my groundhogs are cuter :p

  2. Solonor says:

    Yes, but I might have motherf***ing snakes…in my motherf***ing yard!

  3. susan says:

    If it was me, just knowing that snakes could be future tenants? I would be getting that permit to vacate the bugger NOW! (I’ve watched too many Hugh Grant movies lately)

  4. cassie-b says:

    hmmmm – gopher tortises (protected) and hurricanes. Interesting.

  5. Ric the Schmuck says:

    And you keep bugging us to move down there? 🙂

    What you need is an aligator to come and eat the tortise.

    Just trying to help.

  6. domino says:

    Well, your new friend might just have an accident, and say break a leg or some-ting. I’ll have some of my Jersey friends give you a cawl.

  7. justagirl says:

    That’s amazing…I didn’t realize they were protected. I say get the permits…that’s all you need are snakes, too. *shiver*

  8. Snowgirl says:

    Ha! I’m amazed you even noticed it! Aren’t you allergic to the outdoors? Mother Nature is having her way with you.

  9. Sherri says:

    The indigo is a peaceful snake and will keep your mouse and rat population down. We have one roaming our yard, where we also have mice and rats. It’s a circle of life thing.

    The frogs ain’t so much.

    The diamond back isn’t so likely since they don’t really like living where people are very much. People tend to kill ’em and all.

    But the indigo snake is, as snakes go, a nice one. Don’t be such a whiner!

  10. hey, snakes ain’t so bad. 🙂 listen to Sherri.

    theres the peaceful snakes, and theres the pit viper snakes, and the pit viper snakes don’t like to live where the humans live, generally speaking. the peaceful snakes won’t hurt you if you won’t hurt them, preferring the flee/look tough/unassuming/act casual/try to scare them away/ type tactics to actually striking. generally speaking.

    i had a yard full of snakes once. when i got over the fact that there were m****f***** snakes on my m****f**** yard, it became a fun game to see what new kind of snakey snake i could see today. i once saw a snake in my yard that was as bright green as a spring blade of grass – all over its snakey body. it was magic-pretty. see, you could have fun with this. Solonor’s Snakes on A Blog.

  11. Chari says:

    I’m trying not to chuckle at this… thank goodness armadillos are not protected. I’d be screwed.

    Be sure to thank your neighbor for watching the tortoise dig the hole in your yard — and not chasing it off.

    Good thing the tortoise wasn’t trying to break into your house…

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