Owls and hawks may prey upon this gopher if it leaves the security of its burrow system. Their fur is typically brown but may vary to black. Copyright 1999. The Plains Pocket Gopher can be distinguished from its only Kansas relative, the Yellow-faced Pocket Gopher, by the presence of two parallel grooves (rather than one) on the front surface of its large protruding orange incisor teeth. Ord's Kangaroo Rat. Illinois Plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius illinoensis). BOTTA’S POCKET GOPHER. Pocket Gophers. It has a broad flat head, compact body, short snout, and nearly hairless tail that is used as a sensory organ. Range and Habitat:   The plains pocket gopher lives throughout Kansas with the exception of the southeastern corner of the state. The hair is short, dense, and glossy, and the skin is rather loose. Gophers mix and deepen soils just as effectively as if the fields were plowed, although considerably slower than by human methods. The eyes and ears are small. The plains pocket gopher does not hibernate. Habits:   The plains pocket gopher is more highly specialized for digging than any other North American rodent and lives underground for practically its entire life. Gopher mounds cover surface vegetation, thus incorporating sometimes over 50 percent of surface plant material into the soil. Despite gophers' subterranean habits, they are frequent prey for several predators. Food:   The food of plains pocket gophers is entirely vegetable matter consisting of grasses and forbs, roots and underground stems. They are the plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius), which ranges over most of Oklahoma, and the Mexican pocket gopher (Cratogeomys castanops), which is found in the Oklahoma Panhandle. These mounds of soil lead to sloping subterranean tunnels that connect to a main tunnel that traverses the entire set of mounds. Remarks : Predators of the plains pocket gopher are those that can gain entrance to the tunnels such as weasels and snakes, or those capable of digging into the ground like badgers, foxes, and coyotes. They are approximately 8 to 123⁄4 inches in length, including the tail. There are many predators that hunt them. They have stocky bodies, small eyes and ears, and sparsely furred tails. Plains pocket gophers (Geomys bursarius) vary in length from almost 7 1/2 to 14 inches (18 to 36 cm). Pocket Gopher damage includes chewing of any underground lines including electric, water and septic piping. Males are larger than females, but they are colored alike. One of two pocket gopher species in Minnesota, plains pocket gophers (Geomys bursarius) are chunky rodents, about 10-12 inches long. As long as they remain in their burrows, pocket gophers are relatively safe from predators other than those that are specialized for digging, such as badgers and long-tailed weasels. Plains pocket gophers belong to the Geomyidae family. Young are grayer than adults. Mountain Cottontail. Northern Pocket Gopher. The pocket gopher excavates kidney-shaped mounds of soil. After sufficient dirt has accumulated the gopher turns around and pushes the dirt with front feet, head, and chest to a surface opening where it piles the dirt. Green plants and grasses are taken from around the entrance of their tunnels and perhaps beyond, at night. Kansas Mus. Gopher mounds cover surface vegetation, thus incorporating sometimes over 50 percent of surface plant material into the soil. Plains pocket gophers are solitary except during breeding periods and rarely leave the tunnel except for breeding or for foraging near the entrance of a tunnel, where they sometimes can be seen. European Rabbit. SOUTHERN POCKET GOPHER. Mexican pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius mexicanus). Plains pocket gophers are larger than eastern moles. Root vegetables, such as carrots or sweet potatoes, cut to conveniently small sizes and dusted with strychnine are excellent baits. The pocket gopher has small eyes and ears and naked or sparsely-haired Males are larger than females, but they are colored alike. Scientists estimate an average of 4 to 5 gophers per acre of land. Subordinate Taxa: Brazos pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius braznesis). The species wreaking havoc in area producers' pastures and alfalfa stands is the plains pocket gopher, which weighs in at a whopping one pound. Nat. Villa-R., B., and E. R. Hall Subspeciation in pocket gophers of Kansas. Return to the Mammals of Kansas index page. Two examples include the tropical pocket gopher and the Michoacan pocket gopher. These are the "true" gophers, but several ground squirrels in the distantly related family Sciuridae are often called "gophers", as well. The edges of the toes are fringed with hairs that assist in digging and handling dirt. Plains pocket gophers are solitary except during breeding periods and rarely leave the tunnel except for breeding or for foraging near the entrance of a tunnel, where they sometimes can be seen. By-products of the gopher and unconsumed plant material enhances the fertility of the soil. Gopher predators include snakes, owls, coyotes, weasels, badgers, bobcats and even herons. Foster Although plains pocket gophers (Geomys bursarius) are sel- dom seen, they inhabit vast acreages of rangeland.The relation- ship between plains pocket gophers and rangeland productivity has been the source of many unanswered questions. Although they are seldom seen above ground, their presence is easily detected by the mounds of dirt they push out from their tunnels. For plains pocket gophers, a population of six to eight animals per acre is considered high density. Gophers should not be confused with moles although they sometimes construct similar tunnels. The action of gophers in the soil are beneficial for both plant and animal communities. These prepared baits can often be obtained from local garden supply stores or from pest … The tail is brownish with a white tip. Grain baits, such as corn, oats, wheat, and grain sorghum are readily eaten in some localities and often give better results in fall when pocket gophers are storing much of their food. 1) is the smallest and most widespread, occupying much of eastern Washington.Adults of this species measure 8 inches in length, including their 2-inch tail. Their gestation period lasts 18 to 19 days, weaning occurs 40 to 44 days after birth, and independence is attained on an average of 51 days later. When half grown, they disperse and begin to forage alone. Description:   The plains pocket gopher can be distinguished from its only Kansas relative, the yellow-faced pocket gopher, by the presence of two parallel grooves (rather than one) on the front surface of its large protruding orange incisor teeth. The plains pocket gopher does not hibernate. The tunnels also collect runoff of early melting snows and rain storms. Hist. They are eaten by animals that are able to follow them into burrows, such as weasels and snakes. Mississippi Valley pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius bursarius). The plains pocket gopher eats plant material found underground during tunneling, and also collects grasses, roots, and tubers in its cheek pouches and caches them in underground larder chambers. The White salmon pocket gopher-Northern (Thomomys talpoides)(Fig. The plains pocket gopher is especially fond of alfalfa fields, and can become a nuisance. Pocket gophers are specially adapted for subterranean life and they use their poickets for transporting food underground (Reid 236). DESERT POCKET GOPHER. The tunnels are excavated using the large claws of the front feet. Destruction Island Shrew. The Plains Pocket Gopher breeds from February to April and, after a gestation presumed to be a month or more, one to six (average four) young are born hairless, pink, wrinkled, and with eyes and ears closed. Pocket gophers can be killed in large numbers with poisoned bait. Pocket gophers also provide food for predators, such as skunks, foxes, bobcats, weasels, hawks, owls, and gopher snakes (“bull snakes”). A pocket gopher’s burrow system may cover 1 to 2 acres. The name "pocket gopher" on its own may refer to any of a number of genera within the family Geomyidae. Large external cheek pouches, used for carrying food, are lined with fur and extend back to the shoulders. Predators—including owls, snakes, cats, dogs, and coyotes—eat pocket gophers. Montane Vole. NORTHERN POCKET GOPHER. Skin and hairs are arranged so as to permit flexibility when the animal moves forward or backward in its subterranean tunnels. Adults can weigh up to 1 pound; males are generally larger than females. Their burrow system is a form of food storage, protection from predators, and reproduction (Hazard, 1982). However, a few species of gopher are decreasing due to habitat loss. The eyes and ears are small. Sagebrush Vole. TWT © 2021 — Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University. Cascade Red Fox ... Northern Flying Squirrel. It prefers deep sandy and loamy soil in treeless open lands. Badgers, snakes and hawks also make gophers part of their diet. It has a broad flat head, compact body, short snout, and nearly hairless tail that is used as a sensory organ. Size:   Adult females may attain the following dimensions: total length 230-316 mm; tail 63-102 mm; hind foot 30-39 mm; ear 4-9 mm; weight 170-305 grams; males are somewhat larger. Whitish hairs cover the tops of the feet. CINCH Traps LLC 10140 SW Allen Blvd. Plains Pocket Gopher The Plains Pocket Gopher (Geomys bursarius) is 5-9 inches long and weighs 4-13 pounds. Owls and hawks may prey upon this gopher if it leaves the security of its burrow system. The local vegetation is less significant than the nature of the soil, and the gophers are found in prairie grasslands, agricultural land, and even urban areas. Remarks:   Predators of the plains pocket gopher are those that can gain entrance to the tunnels such as weasels and snakes, or those capable of digging into the ground like badgers, foxes, and coyotes. Kansas Publ. At White Sands, these include snakes, badgers, coyotes, kit foxes, and owls. Plains pocket gophers build and maintain intricate burrowing trails beneath the surface and live the majority of their lives underground. The front legs are short, strong, and bear heavy claws on all five toes. Texas pocket gophers (Geomys personatus) are also brown and In five weeks the cheek pouches and eyes of the young open and a week later they are weaned. Pocket gophers make their burrows in places with deep, sandy, crumbly soil ideal for tunneling, and their distribution often mimics the coverage of such soils (animaldiversity.org). Predators of the porcupine include: eagles, wolves and the great-horned owl. In addition to the nesting chamber there are special tunnels for food storage and for the deposit of fecal material. By-products of the gopher and unconsumed plant material enhances the fertility of the soil. Plains pocket gophers prefer deep, sandy, friable soils to facilitate their burrowing lifestyle and their herbivorous diet of plant roots. 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