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Look for the signs: North Port rolls out new plan to protect gopher tortoises

Roughly 100 signs will be distributed with the public's help.
Gopher tortoise.jpg
Posted at 12:04 PM, Jun 29, 2024

NORTH PORT, Fla. — The City of North Port is taking new steps to protect its gopher tortoise population.

North Port Natural Resources Manager Stefan Kalev showed North Port Community Correspondent Victoria Scott new gopher tortoise awareness sighs.

North Port Effort to Protect Gopher Tortoises

They're bright, yellow, and hard to miss. The signs are meant to be placed near roads and other areas with active gopher tortoise burrows.

However, the city needs your help.

First off, contact the Natural Resources Division or Public Works Department if you believe a gopher tortoise is in danger.

North Port Effort to Protect Gopher Tortoises

Kalev said an environmental specialist will come out and examine the site. He told Scott a sign will then be posted at that location if it's necessary.

These aren't the only steps the city is taking.

"Now, each site where a gopher tortoise is within the vicinity of an active project or if a gopher tortoise is preserved on site, we follow up at each of these sites multiple times throughout the construction process to ensure that these areas are not disturbed," Kalev said.

He also said the city is thinking of ways it can turn properties into gopher tortoise recipient sites. So, if they're found on a construction site, they can then be relocated to a safe area in the city.