Forest Measurements and Spatial Technology

In search of gopher tortoise habitat

Scientists are looking for gopher tortoise habitat through both extensive field survey and analysis of geospatial data collected over a range of conditions in and around known burrows in the study area. The gopher tortoise is listed at either state and/or federal levels as threatened or endangered throughout its range. The study will allow scientists to evaluate the utility of light detection and ranging remote sensing as a means to accurately map important habitat characteristics. Once this is completed, a Geographic Information Systems model will be developed to determine areas of habitat that can be managed as suitable to sustain and expand gopher tortoise populations on both military installations and other lands.