Orange leads in number of gopher tortoises displaced by development
New research shows that Orange County leads the state in the number of gopher tortoises displaced for development.
The tortoises are protected in Florida as threatened and must be relocated for new construction. Here’s Neal Halstead of Wildlands Conservation, a nonprofit group.
“We also see a band of counties along the I-4 corridor that are among the highest exporters of tortoises while counties along the Kissimmee River valley tend to be net importers.”
Gopher tortoises are found in the same upland habitats like forests and pastures that developers prefer. Osceola County leads the state when it comes to where the tortoises are moved to.