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JoelSartoreGopherTortoise | by birdologist
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JoelSartoreGopherTortoise

GOPHER TORTOISE (Gopherus polyphemus).

 

Gopher tortoises in the southeastern U.S. often end up as roadkill. Invasive fire ants and armadillos also prey on their eggs and young, while urban expansion, land conversion for pine plantations, and fire mismanagement degrade tortoise habitat, pushing these reptiles closer to the edge.

 

Image: Joel Sartore/National Geographic.

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Taken on January 21, 2009