In 1995, we surveyed a previously studied (1982–1986) northern Florida population of Gopherus polyphemus (Gopher Tortoise) to document demographic changes that may have occurred over time. The sandhill study site had been unburned for approximately 8 years, resulting in increased woody midstory and decreased herbaceous groundcover. We captured 88 Gopher Tortoises in pitfall traps during May—June 1995. Eighteen (20%) of the tortoises had been previously marked; only 11% of 169 marked tortoises were recaptured. Gopher Tortoise distribution appeared to be more clumped in 1995, and density had declined by about half, likely due to habitat degradation associated with fire exclusion. Size- and sex-class distribution and clutch size were not significantly different between the two study periods. In 1995, the smallest female with detected shelled eggs had 11 plastral annuli and a carapace length of 225 mm. Habitat degradation, whether on private or public lands, is an ongoing problem for this species.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 13 • No. 4