The Northern Pocket Gopher (Thomomyst alpoides) is common on open range lands at high altitudes, and range management personnel have long been confronted with the problem of controlling gopher populations. Although some studies indicate that pocket gophers have little or no injurious effects on range in good condition, other studies show that large populations of these animals can seriously damage seeded ranges and ranges in poor condition (Colorado State University Exp, Stat., 1960). Julander, Low, and Morris (1969) indicate that in areas where gophers have reached populations of 27-39 gophers per acre, forage removal by gophers may be from 4.75 to 7 pounds of fresh weight vegetation per acre per day. This converts to 435-670 pounds of airdry plant material per acre per year. On depleted ranges this represents a large percentage of the total annual growth. Hansen (1965) reported that in 1961 gophers numbered 52 per acre on Black Mesa, Colorado, Such a high density of gophers could have drastic effects on range soils and vegetation.
College and Department
Plant and Wildlife Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Christensen, Robert C., "Raptor predation on pocket gopher populations by the use of hunting perches" (1972). Theses and Dissertations. 7658.
Pocket gophers; Kangaroo rats