Gopher Tortoise Authorized Agent Training
According to new State of Florida regulations, only a permitted Authorized Agent can survey for and relocate gopher tortoises. Pandion is one of only a few companies licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to provide this training.
These interactive, hands-on training courses provide the information and instruction you need to help you acquire an Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent permit from FWC.
Overview of Courses
Each course includes field time and classroom. Our courses are taught using case studies and simulations to give participants real-world experience, providing excellent preparation for tortoise relocation projects. For complete details, see the Course Syllabus (PDF).
Course 1: Biology, Surveying, Permitting
- Outcome – Certificate of completion for gopher tortoise surveying
- Length – 3 days of field time and classroom
- Cost – $675 per person
Course 2: Trapping, Marking, Transporting, Relocating
- Outcome – Certificate of completion for gopher tortoise capture, transport, marking, release, and supervision of backhoe excavation. (Additional experience is needed to meet FWC requirements for supervision of backhoe excavations.)
- Length – 4 days days of field time and classroom. This course is sometimes taught in 2 separate sections: 2a Classroom Section and 2b Field Section.
- Cost – $1,250 per person at a Pandion-sponsored site. For a participant-sponsored site, the cost is based on project details.
Registration is limited. Cost is per participant and includes training, course notebook, lunch and refreshments, competency testing, and use of Pandion equipment.
Refund Policy: Full refunds available when cancellations are made at least 14 days prior to the course date. Cancellations made without 14 days' notice will receive a refund less 20%.
Preparation and Requirements
- Come properly attired for field work.
- Participants are responsible for extra meals and lodging.
- All participants must sign a Release of Liability form.
- Additional field experience may be required to meet FWC Authorized Agent permit requirements.
Reservation of Rights: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reserves the right to manage the authorization process for gopher tortoise relocation and management. Pandion Systems, Inc. has been given conditional approval to train authorized agents for gopher tortoise relocation activities. Nothing in this authorization provides Pandion the right to award permits associated with gopher tortoise relocation and management.
About the Instructors
Pandion is an FWC-approved training provider for Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent permits. Because training is a core service area of Pandion, our instructors are educators as well as Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agents.
In the last five years, Pandion’s Lead Trainer, Christian Newman, has surveyed over 2,800 acres and found an estimated 1,400 burrows. In addition, he has supervised over 700 burrow excavations and relocated over 360 tortoises.