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.