Gopher tortoises are long-lived reptiles that occupy upland habitat throughout Florida including forests, pastures, and yards. They dig deep burrows for shelter and forage on low-growing plants. Gopher tortoises share these burrows with more than 350 other species, and are therefore referred to as a keystone species. Conservation of gopher tortoises depends not only on the efforts of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC www.myfwc.com) and other conservation groups, but also on Florida’s citizens. There are many ways to co-exist with these gentle lands tortoises. In Florida, the gopher tortoise is listed as Threatened. Both the tortoise and its burrow are protected under state law.