Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus).
Image: Joel Sartore/National Geographic [larger view].
The photographer writes;
Gopher tortoises in the southeastern U.S. often end up as roadkill. Invasive fire ants and armadillos also prey on their eggs and young, while urban expansion, land conversion for pine plantations, and fire mismanagement degrade tortoise habitat, pushing these reptiles closer to the edge.
Joel Sartore has shared some of his work on this blog before, so I am thrilled to tell you that National Geographic also appreciates his exemplary work. You can view more endangered animals of the United States that were photographed by the talented Joel Sartore here at National Geographic online. All images appear here by permission of National Geographic online.