Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Validating Gopher Tortoise Habitat and Population Predictions for Georgia


July 2015 - December 2016


This project seeks the collection of fine-scale habitat data at sites that are occupied by gopher tortoises and at reference sites where tortoises are not found to assess performance of current habitat prediction models and to investigate their improvement through the use of other spatial data products. We also explore whether habitat conditions and extent predict gopher tortoise population size, and whether different forest management practices are predictive of those conditions.

Research Products and Activities


  • Hepinstall-Cymerman, J., R. Bormann, B. Nuse, C. Moore, and M. Elliott. 2016. Mapping gopher tortoise habitat in Georgia using multi-season Landsat imagery and multiple statistical modeling techniques. The Wildlife Society 23rd Annual Conference, 15-19 October 2016, Raleigh, NC.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 7

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 6

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 12

Scientific Publications: 41

Presentations: 145



  • Clinton MooreCo-Principal Investigator
  • Jeff Hepinstall-CymermanCo-Principal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • National Council for Air and Stream Improvement


Georgia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  3. U.S. Geological Survey
  4. University of Georgia
  5. Wildlife Management Institute