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August 5, 2014

Organizations Working Together to Save Florida Gopher Tortoises

Gopher tortoise relocation and rehabilitation efforts are expected to improve in Florida after a new collaboration was announced today. The Humane Society of the United States, Nokuse Plantation, St. Joe Community Foundation, The St. Joe Company and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hope the collaboration will improve efforts to relocate gopher tortoises from development sites to preserves. Dave Pauli, senior advisor of wildlife response and policy at The HSUS said:

“We’re excited to work with the FWC, St. Joe Community Foundation, The St. Joe Company and Nokuse Plantation to help provide and promote gopher tortoise conservation. We hope this is the beginning of future new alliances being formed in Florida and beyond to save this long lived species.”  

Matthew Aresco, Director at Nokuse Plantation said: “We are grateful to be part of this unprecedented collaboration between the St. Joe Company, The HSUS and the FWC to relocate gopher tortoises from development sites throughout Florida to our preserve. Although permits issued prior to 2008 did not require these tortoises to be relocated off of the development sites, they will now live long lives as part of a permanently protected, breeding population.” 

The announcement comes on the heels of a $150,000 donation to The HSUS by St. Joe Community Foundation to support and enable responsible collection and relocation of gopher tortoises to designated sanctuaries.

Media Contact: Naseem Amini, 301-548-7793, namini@humanesociety.org

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