Who We Are

About The Gopher Tortoise Council

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.

The goals of the Council are: (1) to offer professional advice for management, conservation, and protection of gopher tortoises; (2) to encourage the study of the life history, ecology, behavior, physiology, and management of gopher tortoises and other upland species; (3) to conduct active public information and conservation education programs; (4) to seek effective protection of the gopher tortoise and other upland species throughout the southeastern United States.

The Council supports environmental education programs and through the generous donations of many of our members, has contributed funds for the purchase of critical habitat for the gopher tortoise and other upland species. The Council has contributed to the financial support of research projects involving reproduction, home range, and feeding studies in the gopher tortoise, ecology of the striped newt, and gopher frog.

If you would like to become a member of the Gopher Tortoise Council, please visit our Membership page.

Council Leadership


Dick Franz
Keri Landry

Immediate Past Co-Chair

Jess McGuire


Connie Henderson


Don Stillwaugh

Newsletter Editor

Cyndi Gates

Website Manager

Jen Howze


Committee Chairs and State Representatives are listed here.

Original text above by: Catherine Puckett and Richard Franz. Edited by Joan Berish and Jessica McGuire.
First published by the GOPHER TORTOISE COUNCIL in 1980; revised in 1988, 1991, 2000, 2012.

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