Wildlife of Henry W. Coe State Park
  A project of Mindbird Maps & Books     |   Coe Park home  |   Wildlife index
Beechey Ground Squirrel   ·   Black-tailed Jackrabbit   ·   Bobcat   ·   Coyote   ·   Mountain Lion   ·   Mule Deer   ·   Raccoon   ·   Striped Skunk   ·   Valley Pocket Gopher   ·   Wild Pig
Valley Pocket Gopher
Thomomys bottae

Gopher pushing out soil from new tunnel.

Yerba Buena Camp, Pine Ridge.

July 15, 1997.

Photos copyright Ó Lee Dittmann.

Full view.

At Yerba Buena Camp, Pine Ridge.

July 15, 1997.

Photograph copyright Ó Lee Dittmann.

It is unusual to see a living gopher out of its burrow.  But one day in July at Yerba Buena camp,
I enjoyed just such a sight.  While seated at the picnic table enjoying the shade of the oaks,
I heard a rustling sound and saw a small mammal scampering over the leaves in my general
direction.  It was the pocket gopher in the photos.

Perhaps its territory had been taken over by another gopher, or perhaps a snake had found its way into its burrow.  At any rate, it paused long enough for me to capture its image, before it found an old hole
to dig out.  The top image on the page was actually made after the lower image, as it rapidly burrowed.

They are known as "pocket" gophers because of the pocket-like pouches in their cheeks, which can
hold the roots and other plant food they eat.

Henry W. Coe State Park, California
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