While this section of the website will tell you a bit about Gopher Tortoises, Scrub Jays, and the Florida Alligator, there are other sections of the City website that can give you more information on trees and the environment.
Gopher Tortoise Review Process
Gopher tortoises are one of Florida’s threatened species, which means they are likely to become endangered in the near future unless steps are taken to protect them. Referred to as a keystone species, tortoises have an enormous impact on the local environment.
The City of North Port’s Department of Public Works is proud to have created an incredibly successful Gopher Tortoise Awareness Program to educate residents on the environmental importance of gopher tortoises and their burrows.
Recognized as a leader in raising gopher tortoise awareness, North Port has introduced new technology and taken the necessary measures to protect gopher tortoises and help conserve the City’s environment.
Gopher Tortoise homes are common in North Port. Safely transplanting these animals away from development is a priority. This process is covered in detail here.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has put together additional information for Developers and Residents in the state of Florida to help protect these animals from interference and harm.
Scrub Jay Review Process
The scrub-jay lives primarily in scrub habitat, one of the rarest habitats in Florida -- and one which is under tremendous development pressures. The City of North Port underwent a scrub-jay habitat survey in 2006 in order to identify areas of the city that are occupied. These areas represent suitable habitat for the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), a threatened species that is only found in Florida.
Occupied Scrub-Jay Habitat in the City of North Port.
TIP: The spreadsheet lists a large number of parcels. To speed up your search and learn if your property is in a scrub-jay area, use the spreadsheet "search" key combination, which is Ctrl-f (hold down the control key and press the "f" key). When the dialog box opens, type in your PID number in the format given above and click the "Find Next" button. If your parcel is listed, the cursor will advance to its PID number.
What to do if your property is in scrub-jay habitat
In all areas, only lands that are occupied by the scrub-jay may need a Federal incidental take permit to clear lands or build. The City of North Port and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have provided a detailed survey of scrub-jay areas in North Port to identify where scrub-jays occur.
Scrub-Jay Review Process
The City of North Port and the Service are working with Sarasota County to include North Port in the County-wide Habitat Conservation Plan for scrub-jays to facilitate the sustainable development of lands within scrub-jay zones. This will expedite the incidental take permit process and provide a comprehensive plan for conservation of the scrub-jay.
The Florida Alligator
North Port has a number of American Alligators swimming thru its various water ways.
Alligators are opportunistic feeders. Their diets include prey species that are abundant and easily accessible. Juvenile alligators eat primarily insects, amphibians, small fish, and other invertebrates. Adult alligators eat rough fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds.
Do not feed or harass alligators that you find, as they can be dangerous and interacting with them teaches to be less afraid of humans, making them far more dangerous in the future.
Be aware that these animals are around, while they are mostly docile take care that small children and pets steer clear of waterways as alligators can be a real danger to them.
For more information on Alligators please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.