Tour Highlights the Benefit of Managing Habitat for Gopher Tortoise

23
May
2017
23.05.2017 Lydia Holland Featured

Westervelt recently hosted a group of stakeholders at our Chickasawhay Conservation Bank. The bank is a representative of the stewardship ethic of our parent company, The Westervelt Company’s (TWC), who’s land management focuses on wildlife, biodiversity, and endangered species. TWC manages its legacy lands for high conservation values where they exist, such as at the bank, and across all of its landscapes performs Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) management. TWC’s lands have been certified by SFI since 2004.

The event was a great opportunity to share practices and techniques with non-industrial forestry organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Mississippi, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Mississippi Forestry Association, and the National Wild Turkey Federation. WES’s mitigation and conservation banks are an important part of the broader sustainable land stewardship mission of TWC. Check out the pictures below from the event, showing our stakeholders and the habitat. During the event, attendees visited vegetation plots highlighting the benefits of actively managing for gopher tortoise habitat. Management at the bank has successfully expanded suitable habitat for gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), black pinesnake (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi) and many other species that are dependent on fire-maintained, longleaf pine habitats. The bank is an important private conservation solution that contributes to the recovery of this federally listed species.

To learn more about the gopher tortoise visit The Gopher Tortoise Council.

The pin flags show gopher tortoise food. The one with lots of flags is managed habitat on Chickasawhay while one with minimal flags is unmanaged.

The pin flags show gopher tortoise food available. This square with minimal flags is an example of an unmanaged area. Photo credit: Robert Smith, Coastal Program Coordinator, Wildlife Mississippi

The pin flags show gopher tortoise food. The one with lots of flags is managed habitat on Chickasawhay while one with minimal flags is unmanaged.

The pin flags show gopher tortoise food available. This square with a lot of flags is an example of a managed area. Photo credit: Robert Smith, Coastal Program Coordinator, Wildlife Mississippi

View of Chickasawhay Conservation Bank

Chickasawhay Conservation Bank. Photo credit Robert Smith, Coastal Program Coordinator, Wildlife Mississippi