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Wildlife Northern Pocket Gopher Page


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This copyrighted photograph is the sole proprietorship of the Mammal Images Library.  Unauthorized use is a violation of federal copyright laws.  Contact the <a href="http://www.emporia.edu/biosci/msl/home.htm">Mammal Images Library</a> for more info.
Photo by: G. C. Hickman
 Northern Pocket Gopher
 Thomomys talpoides

Habitat: They are found in many different habitat types including agricultural and pasture lands, semidesert shrublands, and grasslands at lower elevations upwards into alpine tundra (Armstrong 1972, Hansen and Reid 1973, P. Miller 1964).

Diet: Gophers use all parts of plants, and diets vary on a seasonal basis partly in response to availability and partly because of quality and succulence. Roots and tubers provide most of the winter diet, whereas spring and summer diets are usually 60 to nearly 100 percent leaves and stems. Forbs, especially composites and legumes, are the most important foods. In some locations prickly-pear, mallows, saltbush, cinquefoils, and knotweeds are also important. Grasses are seasonally and locally significant and may constitute 8 to 50 percent of the diet, with highest consumption on shortgrass prairie (T. Vaughan 1967).

Description: The color of this small gopher varies geographically from dark brown or yellow-brown to pale, grayish yellow. Measurements are: total length 165-250 mm; length of tail 45-75; length of hindfoot 25-31; length of ear 5-7 mm; weight 100-150 g.

Range in Colorado: Northern pocket gophers are common in a variety of habitats above about 1,525 m (5,000 ft) in elevation.


Status: State Special Concern


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Northern Pocket Gopher Specific Links
  GAP Habitat Map


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