Common Name
IDAHO POCKET GOPHER

Scientific Name
THOMOMYS IDAHOENSIS

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The Idaho pocket gopher, Thomomys idahoensis, is one of three species of pocket gopher (along with the northern pocket gopher and Botta's pocket gopher) native to Utah. Of these three species, the Idaho pocket gopher is the rarest in the state, currently known to occur only in Rich County and Daggett County. The species also occurs in parts of Idaho and Wyoming.

Similar to other species of gopher, the Idaho pocket gopher is an herbivore, eating roots, tubers, and occasionally surface vegetation. Food is carried in external cheek pouches to underground storage areas. The species is active throughout the year, and individuals are primarily solitary. Idaho pocket gophers are small and pale, and usually occur at high elevations. Although gophers are often viewed as pests, they can be an important prey source for animals such as foxes and owls. Gophers can also benefit plant species by loosening the soil.

Sources:

  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.

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