Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Advanced Disposal Produces Gopher Tortoise Relocation Movie

 Editor's Note:  This is a great story and video about gopher tortoises and the conservation efforts of a large company.  Our only disappointment in our viewing of it was the video is quite small when it is clicked on at the home site.  

Watch the video.  It's educational value is terrific.  Kudos to Advanced Disposal for their efforts on behalf of the tortoise!

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Advanced Disposal is looking to make a certain colony of gopher tortoises famous in an effort to bring awareness to the federally-protected species. The environmental services company today released its documentary-style film “Relocating the Gopher Tortoise at Turkey Trot Landfill.”

“Relocating the Gopher Tortoise at Turkey Trot Landfill.”

The film takes viewers through the unique process of relocating a colony of gopher tortoises and teaches them why this keystone species is such an important part of the south uplands ecosystem.

Advanced Disposal was awarded a contract to build a municipal solid waste landfill on a permitted and approved site in Washington County, Ala. During the assessment process, the company and its regulatory partners discovered a colony of gopher tortoises on the 300-acre landfill site.

The film tells the story of how the gopher tortoises were relocated to a preservation owned by South Alabama Utilities just 30 miles away from Turkey Trot Landfill. It documents the burrow identification processes utilizing GPS technology, two types of capture techniques, medical assessment process and release at the new location. Countless hours were spent by several companies and organizations including U.S. Army Corp of Engineers; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Alabama Department of Environmental Management; Board of Commissioners of Washington County, Alabama; Environmental Services, Inc.; South Alabama Utilities; Hodges, Harbin, Newberry & Tribble, Inc. and Advanced Disposal to ensure a smooth and successful transfer of the tortoises.

“Advanced Disposal strives to be a stellar corporate citizen in all of the communities in which we live and work,” said Mary O’Brien, chief marketing officer with Advanced Disposal. “When we learned that we would be relocating a colony of gopher tortoises, we decided to capture it on film and utilize it as a fun, engaging educational tool while showing our commitment to the environment. We think this film does just that and hope that others will help us build awareness for this special species.”

Projects like Turkey Trot Landfill assist in tortoise conservation actions that could not otherwise be developed without the scientific data collected during the relocation process. Taking specific measurements when collecting the species and conducting the long-term monitoring and research at the preserve help scientists understand more about the tortoises’ habitat needs, survival rates, and reproductive success. The information gained from relocating the tortoises from Turkey Trot Landfill will assist U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in making long term conservation goals to protect the species in perpetuity.

Copies of the DVD are being sent to local schools, environmental and conservation groups, wildlife preservations and youth organizations to help grow an appreciation for the gopher tortoises. People can also watch the film by going to www.AdvancedDisposal.com and clicking on the gopher tortoise video link.

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