July 30th marks the end to a state policy that allowed developers to receive permits allowing for the "incidental taking" of gopher tortoises located on development sites. As reported in the Naples Daily News last month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted to end the sixteen year permitting program that allowed for the burial of gopher tortoises where they could take months to suffocate, dehydrate or starve to death. Today marked the last day for applications under the old system. Going forward, tortoises will be relocated. This video from Humane Society of the United States contains additional information as well as relocation footage:
More articles on the change are available here and here.