Thomomys townsendii 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Geomyidae

Scientific Name: Thomomys townsendii
Species Authority: (Bachman, 1839)
Common Name(s):
English Townsend's Pocket Gopher
Taxonomic Notes: Limited hybridization with T. bottae occurs in northeastern California. Included in T. umbrinus by Hall (1981). Regarded as a distinct species by Jones et al. (1992), Baker et al. (2003), and Patton (in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005). Patton and Smith (1994) examined mtDNA and electrophoretic data for T. bottae and T. townsendii and found a variation pattern that made "strict adherence to any species concept in the objective recognition of evolutionary units within this complex...difficult at best."

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern because it has a reasonably large range, it is common, there are no major threats, and it occurs in a few protected areas.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is distributed in disjunct patches in the western United States, in southeastern Oregon, southwestern Idaho, northern Nevada, and northeastern California.
Countries occurrence:
United States (California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is apparently secure (NatureServe) and can be common in its range.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits deep, moist, loamy, alkaline soils found in bottomlands of sagebrush habitats, as well as irrigated fields (Verts and Carraway, 2003). Also found in the deep soils of river valleys, or old lake beds; in areas with shadscale vegetation type (M. F. Smith, in Wilson and Ruff, 1999). It is primarily fossorial. Young are born in underground burrows. Adults may produce two or more litters per year, ranging from three to ten young per litter (Ingles, 1965). Gestation lasts approximately 19 days.

Pocket gophers are ecologically important as prey items and in influencing soils, microtopography, habitat heterogeneity, diversity of plant species, and primary productivity (Huntly and Inouye, 1988). Predators include owls, hawks, foxes, coyotes, etc. Diet includes roots, tubers, and some surface vegetation. Forages from underground burrow and may pull plants down through soil into burrow. Sometimes forages aboveground. Collects food in cheek pouches and carries it to underground storage areas.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not of conservation concern and its range includes a few protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.). 2008. Thomomys townsendii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T42598A10718759. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided