A keystone species found in the southeastern U.S., the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) was listed as threatened in the western part of its range in 1987 and warranted for listing as threatened in the eastern part of its range in 2011, primarily due to the destruction and fragmentation of its native habitat. These findings prompted action among conservation groups to begin captive breeding or relocation programs to bolster population numbers and ensure that existing populations have safe habitats.
Promoting the long-term sustainability and stewardship of natural resources begins with a basic understanding of ecosystem services and their public benefits. Ideally, the ability to assign monetary value can illustrate the importance of their fundamental contributions to society. An analysis like this can serve to support land conservation strategies and policies to promote the conservation of open spaces and natural resources.
You won’t find Key deer in the Boone and Crockett Club’s records. There isn’t even a hunting season for these tiny deer living in the Florida Keys. That doesn’t mean Boone and Crockett Club members turned a blind eye to this whitetail subspecies that was going extinct in the 1940s. B&C members Jay N. “Ding” Darling and C.R. Gutermuth worked to end market hunting of Key deer and protect essential habitat to ensure their survival well into the future. This is how they pulled it off.