U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

February 2006


Published in Herpetological Review 37(1), 2006.


Gopherus polyphemus is listed as a species of special concern by the state of Florida (Florida Wildlife Code Chap. 39 F.A.C.), and as a threatened species by the Florida Committee on Rare and Endangered Plants and Animals (Moler 1992. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida: Volume 111, Reptiles and Amphibians. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. 291 pp.). Coyotes (Canis latrans) are invasive to Florida with ranges that are expanding within the state (Schmitz and Brown 1994. An Assessment of Invasive Non-Indigenous Species in Florida's Public Lands. Florida Dept. Environmental Protection. Tallahassee, Florida. 283 pp.; Wooding and Hardinsky 1990. Florida Field Nat. 18:12-14), including the southeastern coast (Cunningham and Dunford 1970. Quart. J. Florida Acad. Sci. 33:279-280; Brady 1983. Florida Field Nat. 11:40-41; Hill et al. 1987. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 15:521-524; Wooding and Hardinsky, op. cit.). We report here evidence of Coyote predation on Gopher Tortoise hatchlings in southeastern coastal Florida.