About Us

Cape Coral Wildlife Trust, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Cape Coral Wildlife Trust (CCWT) was formed to acquire land for education, research, and the preservation of Cape Coral’s indigenous wildlife.

What's at Stake

The Florida burrowing owl and gopher tortoise are designated a threatened species by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The designation of \"Threatened\" is given to species whose prospects of survival are in jeopardy due in part to commercial and residential development.

CCWT post caution signs to alert drivers

Did you know that the City of Cape Coral has Burrowing Owl and Gopher Tortoise protection ordinances? Those who intentionally harass or harm the burrowing owls/ gopher tortoises or collapse their burrows will be subject to penalties ranging from a $500 fine to 60 days in jail.

Link to City Code:

https://librarystage.municode.com/fl/cape_coral/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CH23PRSP

Research by Dr. John Herman of Florida Gulf Coast University demonstrated that \"the urban gopher tortoise populations in Cape Coral represent a self-sustaining viable conservation unit.\" For this reason, Professor Herman \"fully supports and encourages the establishment of a land trust of current vacant lots…for the conservation of gopher tortoises specifically and wildlife in general.\"

In fact, more than 350 other species - burrowing owls, coyotes, snakes, foxes, mice and more use tortoise burrows to seek shelter and escape heat, fires, and predators. The gopher tortoise is considered a \"keystone species.\" Conservation Biologist Rachel King of Florida Fish & Wildlife further explained \"If they disappear from the environment, the ecosystem will collapse on itself.\"

CCWT\'s goal is to create mini neighborhood eco-preserves all over the City.

Not only will this plan ensure that burrowing owls, gopher tortoises and other wildlife will be protected, but it will provide opportunities to educate residents and visitors. Cape Coral is one of the fastest growing cities in the US*

Every lot we acquire is one less lot developed.

In 2018 we purchased the first lot at 305 NW 7th Terrace with more than 38 active tortoise burrows surrounded by nature-loving homeowners. As of May 6, 2020, we own 19 city properties within six parcels. The land will continue to be home to generations of burrowing owls and gopher tortoises who will live in peace forever.

 

Own property you might like to sell or donate?

We are always looking for burrowing owl and/or gopher tortoise lots to acquire.

There are dozens of pieces of land with multiple owl and/or tortoise burrows. When the right one comes along, CCWT will require funds to purchase it.

CCWT volunteers mark recent land purchase

This is where you come in...

Do you own a lot where burrowing owls or gopher tortoises have taken up residence? Would you like to consider donating one or more of those lots? How about leaving a property to CCWT in your will? Perhaps you would be willing to sell your property to us at a reasonable price?

If you are interested in supporting this cause, please contact us to find out exactly how you can help.

The march toward a projected \"build-out\", (population of 400,000) is unstoppable. We are confident that with the help of people who love and value the environment, that march may be slowed, detoured and perhaps, in some places, halted.

Monetary donations always accepted

Call 239-980-2593

 

Board Members

Board members:

President: Pascha Donaldson

Vice President: Carl Veaux

Recording Secretary: Lori Haus-Bulcock

Treasurer: Eileen Bonasia

Member At Large: Cheryl Anderson

CCWT: Team effort to educate the public with a new sign on a new land purchase
CCWT: Team effort to educate the public with a new sign on a new land purchase

To Report:

Burrowing Owls, Gopher Tortoises: CCFW 239-980-2593

Injured Wildlife: CROW 239-4723644

Harassment of Wildlife: FWC 888-404-3922

Rotary Park Wildlife Info: 239-549-4606

Monitor Lizards: CC Environmental Resources 239-574-0785

Our newest sign acknowledges the donation from the Marie Lelash Trust
CCWT Burrowing Owl habitat land acquisition
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In the News

Newspaper Articles

1. Cape Coral Breeze:  Saving SW Florida One... guest editorial Oct. 2019

https://www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/page/content.detail/id/672596/Cape-Coral-Friends-of-Wildlife--Saving-Southwest-Florida--one-animal-at-a-time.html?nav=5005  

2.  News Press:  "On a Mission" CCWT finds homes for gopher tortoises and burrowing owls March 2018

https://www.news-press.com/story/news/local/cape-coral/2018/03/04/cape-coral-wildlife-trust-finding-homes-gopher-tortoises-burrowing-owls/379225002/  

3.  CC Breeze:  Much done, much more to do...Carl - guest opinion April 2019

http://www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/page/content.detail/id/670550/Guest-opinion--Much-done--much-more-to-do-to-protect-endangered-species.html?nav=5008  

4.  NBC-2 - Cape Coral could get a park...gopher tortoises April 2019

https://www.nbc-2.com/story/40318431/cape-coral-could-get-an-environmental-park-to-protect-gopher-tortoises 

5.  News Press - CC Designate land...May 1, 2019

https://www.news-press.com/story/news/local/cape-coral/2019/05/01/cape-coral-could-designate-city-owned-land-gopher-tortoise-habitat/3577678002/ 

6.  Fox 4 CC considers preserving wildlife...May 3, 2019

https://www.fox4now.com/news/protecting-paradise/cape-coral-to-consider-preserving-land-for-gopher-tortoises  

7. NBC-2 City gopher tortoise ordinance June 9, 2019

https://www.nbc-2.com/story/40616662/gopher-tortoises-could-soon-receive-protections-under-law  

8. CC Breeze Trust Cuts Ribbon  Feb. 13, 2018

http://www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/page/content.detail/id/666037/Trust-cuts-ribbon-on-first-conservation-lot-in-Cape-Coral.html  

 

CCWT Ribbon Cutting - First gopher tortoise lot
CCWT Ribbon Cutting - First gopher tortoise lot