Movement patterns and home ranges of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in southwestern Georgia varied seasonally and were determined largely by social interaction. Adults congregated in breeding colonies on droughty sites in early spring. During spring and summer, females were more sedentary than males; burrow preferences and movements of males were largely determined by mate-seeking and hierarchial behaviors. Individuals began to disperse from breeding colonies by late summer and about half moved to adjacent autumn-winter range on more mesic soils, likely due to the better food supply. Adults used a minimum of three burrows during an activity season ([x¯] = four for females, seven for males) and did not co-occupy burrows overnight. Juveniles typically moved short distances and used only 1 or 2 burrows, but usually left the vicinity of breeding colonies before or during the years as subadults. This dispersal is apparently an important mechanism for adding young adults to sparsely populated colonies and for forming new colonies. © The American Midland Naturalist. Abstract reproduced by permission.