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Tortoise nests could be harmed by construction, neighbor says

Posted at 10:41 PM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-06 22:41:11-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla., -- A Cape Coral resident is worried many of the gopher tortoise burrows that lie in his neighborhood could be harmed by the ongoing construction. 

“I’m definitely concerned, you know, these nests might extend out to the street or even go under the street," said Adam Fernandez. 

Fernandez pointed out nearly a dozen nests that reside up and down 5th Terrace Northwest in Cape Coral. The construction is apart of the utility expansion, says a spokesperson for the City. They gave this information on the tortoises to Fox 4: 

"The gopher tortoise is a threatened wildlife species and is protected by state law in Florida. Chapter 68A-27 of the Florida Administrative Code makes it illegal to kill, harass, disturb or destroy gopher tortoises, gopher tortoise eggs or gopher tortoise burrows. As such, several land development activities require a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) prior to the commencement of any construction."

The City explained that even with a permit, construction has to stay at least 25 feet away from the nests. Fox 4 was able to identify permits placed throughout the street in protection of the tortoises. The spokesperson will be checking to make sure all protocol is still being followed on Monday. 

You can read more about the rules and regulations for gopher tortoises here.