How have we managed to maintain our research partnership for more than 30 yr? We have come to think that personal respect for one another and trust that our core values and motivations are immutable have been key. Our partnership began with a project to gather much-needed information on Gopherus polyphemus (Daudin) (Gopher Tortoise). We soon realized that the species was in peril. The enormous pressures put upon species and habitats by the exploding human population of Florida fueled our desire not only to accumulate information about basic biology and ecology, but also information relevant to effective conservation and management. Our interest in the Gopher Tortoise expanded naturally to other inhabitants of the xeric uplands, particularly Plestidon reynoldsi Stejneger (Florida Sand Skink). This species inhabits the pyrogenic scrub habitat on the central ridges, which has been mostly lost to development. We present previously unpublished data that cautiously suggest that clear-cutting would be an effective tool for managing small habitat fragments when burning is not a reasonable option. Although we have worked closely with businesses and agencies, we understand that their motivations for facilitating conservation research are not necessarily the same as our motivations for conducting the research; however, we would not have been able to accomplish what we have without the cooperation and support of these entities. Regardless, destruction of xeric uplands has continued apace, and our inability to forestall species' decline is the most frustrating aspect of our partnership. Despite our frustration, we remain motivated by our conviction that we are doing the right thing.

You do not currently have access to this content.