Wildlands, along with wildlife rehabber Chelsey Vowles and the Gopher Tortoise Council, is working to help create a specialty gopher tortoise license plate in the state of Florida. Specialty license plates have been an essential part of the conservation strategy for other Florida species including the manatee, Florida panther, and sea turtles, and we wish to add the gopher tortoise to this list.
The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a threatened species in the state of Florida, primarily due to loss of upland habitat. A keystone species, gopher tortoises dig burrows that are used by more than 360 other animal species, including some that live nowhere else. In order to bring awareness to the plight of the gopher tortoise, we are hoping to create this specialty license plate and propose that the funds generated by the plate be used for gopher tortoise habitat conservation, habitat management, and research. With your help, we can help protect gopher tortoises and their upland habitat.