Thomomys idahoensis
(Idaho Pocket Gopher)

Order: Rodentia
Order Description:Rodents
Family: Geomyidae
Family Description: Pocket Gophers

This pocket gopher is smaller than the Townsend's and northern pocket gophers, and has only recently been described as a different species from the northern pocket gopher. They are yellowish brown with dark brown-tipped hair on the back, their feet are whitish and they have dark gray around their nose. Total length is: 7 3/8 to 9 inches (185-228 mm).

This species is found in two distinct locations, eastern Idaho and southwestern Montana, with populations found in the extreme southeastern corner of Idaho, western Wyoming, and northeastern Utah.

They are found in shrub steppe, grasslands, and subalpine mountain meadows, but favor shallow, rocky soils more so than the northern pocket gopher.

They eat roots, tubers, and some surface vegetation.

They are active throughout the year foraging in underground burrows and above ground at night or on overcast days. Like all pocket gophers, they carry food in cheek pouches and store it in underground chambers. They are primarily solitary except during the breeding season. Predators include coyotes, foxes, and owls. Pocket gophers are ecologically important as prey items and in influencing soils; the microtopographyClick word for definition, habitatClick word for definition heterogeneityClick word for definition, diversityClick word for definition of plant species, and primary productivityClick word for definition.

Probably similar to northern pocket gopher , a female produces a litter of 4 to 7 young after a GestationClick word for definition period of 19 to 20 days.

Status: Unprotected nongame species

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Important State References:
Thaeler, C.S. 1972. Taxonomic status of pocket gophers Thomomys idahoensis and Thomomys pygmaeus (Rodentia: Geomyidae). J. Mammal. 53:417-428.

Information written by Donald Streubel,© 2000
Map image provided by
Stephen Burton,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.