GTC has been a part of a number of education initiatives and many of them provide educational resources for your uses.

 “Living with Gopher Tortoises” – Brochure

Get your copy of "Living With Tortoises here (.pdf)

 “The Gopher Tortoise – A Species in Decline” – Presentation

The production and distribution of this educational program was a joint effort between Gopher Tortoise Council, Florida Turtle Conservation Trust, Friends of Oscar Scherer Park, Georgia Department of Natural Resources-Watchable Wildlife Program and the League of Environmental Educators in Florida. The Gopher Tortoise Council developed this presentation to educate about the natural history of the gopher tortoise, its critical role in the environment, and the challenges it faces with the rapid decline of its upland habitats. All aspects of this program have been distributed for educational use. Permission to use these materials in any other format must be obtained in writing. When used, credit must be given to the appropriate photographers, authors and/or conservation groups. Thanks for your interest in the story of the tortoise and the fascinating world in which it lives! Please contact Laura Wewerka for further information. Note: The slide presentation posted here is a large (22+ MB) PowerPoint file.   The file should be saved to a disk or hard drive and may take considerable time to download depending on your internet connection speed. Powerpoint Slide Presentation

The Gopher Tortoise Activity Book

Gopher Tortoise Activity BookCOVERthumb.optBy popular demand, we have another activity book for download. Learn all about this keystone species and what you can do to help conserve this tortoise and habitat in the southeast. The Gopher Tortoise by Zander Srodes (.pdf)

Freshwater Turtle Adventure Activity Book

Freshwater Turtle Activity BookCOVERthumb.opt Starring the turtles of the southeastern U.S., this new activity book is a great resource for turtle fans young and old. Freshwater Turtle Adventure Activity Book By Montana Sewell and Zander Srodes (.pdf)

Gopher Frog Coloring Page

Get your Gopher Frog Coloring Project here (.pdf)

Gopher Tortoise Coloring Page

Get your Gopher Tortoise Coloring Project here (.pdf)

Eastern Diamond Back Coloring Page

Get your Eastern Diamond Back Coloring Project here (.pdf)

Gopher Tracks Education Book Project

Gopher Tracks, published by Florida State University, introduces gopher tortoise ecology, upland habitats, the role of fire, and environmental stewardship through the adventures of two girls. It is written at a fourth-grade reading level, but was out of print before the GTC solicited funds for the re-printing of an additional 6,700 copies in October 2001.

Gopher Tracks has now been distributed to every public elementary school within the range of the gopher tortoise, as well as to a number of schools located in adjoining counties.

We have received numerous calls, e-mails, and letters from teachers and librarians who greatly appreciated the book and our using it in their classrooms. We have also learned about several schools who are involved with projects related to gopher tortoise and upland ecosystem conservation.

Many people have contacted us requesting additional copies of the book. Unfortunately, we only printed enough copies for our project and do not have extras available.

Perhaps if the demand continues, Susan Jane Ryan (the book’s author) will have it reprinted again sometime in the future.

Thanks again to everyone who donated money towards the reprinting.

Several donations came in at the last minute and we ended up raising a little over $9,000, enabling us to order 6,700 copies. We have distributed two copies of Gopher Tracks to 2,785 schools, and we have also been able to give the book to schools located in 70 counties that are beyond but near the tortoise’s range! This project was initiated when then-GTC co-chair George Heinrich approached David LaHart of FSU about the possibility of the Council cooperating in a reprinting of the book. Since then, a plan was developed by Laura Wewerka (Calusa Nature Center) to place two copies of the book in every public elementary school library within the range of the gopher tortoise.

The Council kicked off the fundraising campaign with a $1000 donation. Several individuals and conservation organizations have contributed funds. Generous donations have been received from the following:

$1,300 Contributor

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

$500 Patrons

Audubon Society of Southwest Florida, Coastal Wildlife Club, Lemon Bay Conservancy, Seminole Audubon Society, Southern Ecosystems Research, The Tortoise Reserve, Inc.

$250 Sponsors

Eagle Audubon Society, Florida Environmental, Florida Turtle Conservation Trust, Gainesville Herpetological Society, Jacksonville Herpetological Society, Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society, Max, Lauren, Rick, Miren and Chuck Schaffer, Suncoast Herpetological Society, Suncoast Native Plant Society, Tampa Bay Herpetological Society, Betty Wargo

Additional Donors

Dr. Harold Albers, Rebecca Bockoven, Kenneth Brain, Nadja Chaimberlain, Rebecca Christoffel, Marcie Clutter, W.T. Davis, Dr. David Deitz, Egmont Key Alliance, Inc., Nadine Foley, David & Leslie Gale, Mrs. W.J. Grant, Laura Hackenbrock, Eve Haverfield, Bob Herrington, George Jacobs, Sharon Karsen, Jerry Kennedy, Cynthia Machupa, Bob Mount, Henry Mushinsky, Native Nurseries of Tallahassee, Inc., Nature’s Focus, Donn Nieder, Fred Perrotta, Mary Reynolds, Renee Turner, Tuscany Trading Company, Mary Lee Vasquez, Elizabeth Wagner, Dr. Donna Wear, Whidden Family


“…Since they (students) will be stewards of our environment, it is important that our students recognize the importance of each of earth’s species. Again, thank you for your gifts.”

Principal Margaret Fulton Killearn Lakes Elementary Tallahassee, Florida

“My class is now reading Gopher Tracks and wish to become involved with helping to preserve these wonderful animals.”

Sharon Griffin Forest Lake Elementary Deltona, Florida

“It will fit into our Florida fiction collection perfectly.”

Pam Gaspary, media specialist Pathways Elementary Ormond Beach, Florida

“…I have read it (Gopher Tracks) to our class of fourth graders and it was so well-liked by them. Not only that, but I could not believe how many of the environmental concepts we had learned in science were reinforced in the book.”

Joanne Koerner Gilchrist Elementary Tallahassee, Florida

“This is such a good way to inform and to protect the gopher tortoise. We appreciate your efforts and hope for success in protecting this species.”

Connie D. Wilhite, media specialist Doves Creek Elementary Elberton, Georgia

“We are pleased and excited about providing our students with such an entertaining and informative book. One which will also work so well with our life sciences curriculum.”

Principal Deborah Clark Brewbaker Intermediate School Montgomery, Alabama

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