Northern pocket gopher
Preyed upon by owls, badgers, grizzly bears, coyotes, weasels, and other predators. Snakes, lizards, ground squirrels, deer mice, and other animals use their burrows. Does not hibernate, but instead burrows into the snow; often fills tunnels with soil forming worm-like cores that remain in the spring after snow melts. Burrow systems are elaborate and often bi-level; can be 400–500 feet long. Very territorial; only one per burrow.
Transports food in cheek pouches to underground cache. Grizzly bears sometimes dig up these caches, including an unsuspecting gopher. Breeds in May and April; one litter of five young per year.
Very small eyes and ears; brown or tan smooth fur; short tail; long front claws for burrowing; large external pouches for carrying food.
6-10 inches (0.1-0.2 m)
1-3 years in the wild
Only range restriction seems to be topsoil depth, which limits burrowing.
SIGNS OF PRESENCE:
Northern pocket gophers dig extensive tunnels, leaving many entrances in the ground that are holes which are easy to either trip over or step into, potentially causing serious injury to humans, dogs and any medium- to large-sized mammals. The gophers are territorial, meaning only one gopher per hole. A large population of gophers can easily turn acres of land into a pocket-marked landscape filled with hundreds of holes, much like a block of Swiss cheese.
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