Hillsborough County Florida Conservation and Environmental Lands Management Department We manage more than 61,000 acres of environmentally sensitive wildlife habitat and corridors acquired through the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP).Management responsibilities include:Prescribed burningInvasive species controlWildlife inventoryTrail maintenanceFeral animal controlHabitat improvements for endangered and threatened species of plants and animalsELAPP is a voluntary program established for the purpose of providing the process and funding for identifying, acquiring, preserving and protecting endangered, environmentally-sensitive and significant lands in Hillsborough County. It is a citizen-based program with volunteer committees involved in every key aspect of the program. ELAPP is not a regulatory program, but lands are identified for the program because of their environmental significance.
Exploring Florida's Rich Turtle Diversity (19 October 2019; 9:00 am-5:00 pm)
A symposium co-sponsored by the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust and the Florida Birding and
Learn about the diversity, ecology, and conservation of this most endangered group of wildlife.
Why are Turtles the Most Threatened Species of Animals on Earth?
Dr. J. Sean Doody (University South Florida St. Petersburg)
This presentation will introduce turtles as a group, their history, how they have dealt with past
extinctions, and the challenges they are facing in the current mass extinction.
Dr. J. Sean Doody is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at University South Florida
St. Petersburg, where he has been for almost two years. He grew up in Louisiana where he
completed two degrees, then moved to Australia to do a PhD on the ecology of pig-nosed turtles
(Carretochelys insculpta). After 14 years, Sean moved back to the U.S. to be closer to family.
Identification of Florida Turtles
George L. Heinrich (Heinrich Ecological Services)
Florida’s wide variety of habitats support 28 of the 62 (45.2%) species known to occur in the
United States, the most turtle-rich country. Significant habitat diversity and species richness
make Florida a chelonian hotspot and critical to the conservation of many species. This
presentation will introduce basic identification techniques.
George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator specializing in Florida
reptiles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services (www.heinrichecologicalservices.com), is
based in St. Petersburg, Florida and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history
programming, and nature-based tours. George is currently the Executive Director of the Florida
Turtle Conservation Trust.
Conservation Ecology of Gopher Tortoises from the Core to the Periphery
Dr. Jeff Goessling (Eckerd College)
Gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) are a keystone speci