Occupancy Surveying for Gopher Tortoises

I wrote last month about our recent Line Transect Distance Surveys (LTDS) for Gopher Tortoises on the Orianne Indigo Snake Preserve. This survey technique has become the standard for the vast majority of the tortoise monitoring that occurs across the southeast and with good reason. The LTDS framework presents a relatively easy survey methodology that can be carried out reliably by a small group of observers. Furthermore, it accomplishes the general goal of monitoring populations for a species that can be difficult to actually encounter using other survey techniques (i.e., tortoises are underground a majority of the time). With all of this said, are there circumstances where an alternative survey approach may be desired to monitor tortoise populations?

Fieldnotes- September 2019

In a world with increasing human development, Gopher Tortoise translocations are an unfortunate reality in longleaf ecosystem conservation. While it’s far from an ideal situation, we try to make the best of it by saving tortoises from impending development and strategically releasing them where they’ll bolster existing populations. In this month’s episode, Ben works on […]