The Environmental Committee was formed in June 2000. Our mission statement: "To preserve and protect the environment of Pine Ridge by educating the builders and property owners..." We encourage you to leave as many trees as possible so that your property continues to provide habitat for our wildlife and maintain the wooded character of Pine Ridge.  We obtain the owners permission to check their property for any wildlife that may be in jeopardy before clearing for construction. One of our main concerns is to relocate the protected gopher tortoise. Many other species living here are endangered or threatened such as the Bald Eagle, Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Sherman Fox squirrels. It is imperative that we maintain our natural character to ensure their survival. 


Gopherus polyphemus is a species of special concern for the State of Florida. Due to it's protected status, it is illegal to take, harm, or harass this specific under the rule 68A-27.005 of the Florida Administrative Code. Additionally, the destruction of burrows constitutes a violation of the Florida Statue 372.0725 and the violator may be penalized under Statue 775.083 unless a proper permit is authorized. Without proper management, this tortoise is likely to become a threatened or endangered species in the future.  The primary reason for the decline of the species is habitat destruction. The tortoise burrow itself serves as an important habitat for a variety of other wildlife species. Many of these animals are also listed as threatened or species of special concern. Gopher Tortoise burrows may be recognized by a 3 to 6 ft. wide mound of bare, excavated sand placed outside the entrance. The burrow entrance is shaped in the form of a "half-moon" and the burrow width is generally correlated with the size of the occupant.

Gopher Tortoise information and picture

In the spring of 2003, the Environmental Committee helped organize the Pine Ridge Bluebird Trail. Forty residents volunteered and placed 93 bluebird boxes in Drainage Retention Areas throughout the community. We used the Peterson Box. The volunteers monitored the boxes weekly from February through July. The final result was 100 Carolina Chickadees and 384 Bluebirds fledged. Citrus County has trails that are part of Great Florida Birding Trails, a statewide organization of marked birding trails where many birds can be seen. 

For more Information on bluebirds and bluebird houses click on the link below.
How to build a Bluebird house


Florida Habitat Information

Black Bears, Fox Squirrels and more

Pine Ridge Photo of Bald Eagle October 10, 2009

Bald Eagle Photo

Bald Eagle Information







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