GOPHER TORTOISE } Gopherus polyphemus
PROTECTION STATUS: Threatened (Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, west of the Mobile and Tombigbee Rivers); Candidate (eastern Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina)
YEAR PLACED ON LIST: 1987
CRITICAL HABITAT: None
RECOVERY PLAN: 1990 (https://ecos.fws.gov/docs/recovery_plan/901226.pdf)
RANGE: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and southern South Carolina
THREATS: Habitat destruction is a significant threat to gopher tortoises. Other threats include habitat fragmentation and degradation, vehicle collisions, disease, predation, and the use of toxic herbicides in forest management.
POPULATION TREND: The majority of the world's remaining gopher tortoises live in Florida, where their population was estimated to have steeply declined in 2003 to less than 800,000 individuals. The population has continued to decline since that year.