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Pocket Gophers: Geomyidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Pocket Gophers And People, Valley Pocket Gopher (thomomys Bottae): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS


Pocket gophers are found in North America and extend into Central America. They are found from southern Canada through western North America, southward to northwestern Colombia in South America. One species occurs in the southeastern United States, in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Pocket gophers live in almost any area that has soil that they can dig. They are found in meadows, forests, deserts, rainforests, and fields, from dry, extremely hot, climates at sea level to extremely cold climates in mountainous areas. They do not travel far, and occur in isolated areas. They spend most of their lives underground, though they surface at times to gather food. In certain parts of the country, the older animals may move to moister areas during dry periods.

Pocket gophers are herbivores, plant eaters. These animals feed primarily on the underground parts of plants, especially the roots, bulbs, and tubers. They also cut stems and carry them in their cheek pouches to their storage chambers.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists fifteen species of pocket gophers as threatened. The Oaxacan (wah-HAH-kan) pocket gopher and Querétaro pocket gopher are listed as Critically Endangered, facing an extremely high risk of extinction. The Michoacan pocket gopher is considered Endangered, facing a high risk of extinction.

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Animal Life ResourceMammals