HOLT, Fla., March 28, 2019–Mark the calendar for April 10.
The second Wednesday in April this year has been officially adopted by the Gopher Tortoise Council as Gopher Tortoise Day.
That should be considered a local holiday in Holt, home of the Gophers.
According to the council, the goal of Gopher Tortoise Day “is to increase awareness and appreciation for the long-lived gentle reptiles.”
Around here, gophers are frequently encountered in neighborhoods, along roadways and in public parks and forests.
Gophers are considered a keystone species because they dig burrows that provide shelter for 360 other species of wildlife, including the gopher frog, Florida mouse, eastern indigo snake and hundreds of invertebrates like beetles and crickets.
Without the gopher, many of these species would not exist, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The Gopher Tortoise Council was formed in 1978 by a group of southeastern biologists and other citizens concerned with the decline of the gopher tortoise.
Staff and Gopher Tortoise Council release