Monday, January 27, 2014

You'll gopher this

Photo by Ned Harris 1/22/2014

On Ned's nature walk, we saw a number of piles of fresh dirt with no visible opening or hole. The ever-helpful visitors asked: "Who makes these piles?" And Ned was able to tell them about Botta's Pocket Gophers.

Photo by Ned Harris, Mt Lemmon 7/10/2013

You don't often see these little guys, because they spend most of their time underground. You may only see a tug-tug-disappearing plant as they pull vegetation into their burrows. (I've witnessed that and, after recovering from being startled, it was pretty amazing to watch.)

Beth of Firefly Forest writes:

Botta's Pocket Gophers and other Pocket Gophers leave a fan-shaped dirt mound in front of their burrows, and the burrow entrances are usually kept securely closed up with dirt. Even though they live in areas with many others of their own kind nearby, Botta's Pocket Gophers are solitary and territorial, and they will fight any other gopher that dares invade their burrow.

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