Thomomys talpoides 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Geomyidae

Scientific Name: Thomomys talpoides (Richardson, 1828)
Common Name(s):
English Northern Pocket Gopher, Vancouver Pocket Gopher
Taxonomic Notes: This species previously included T. idahoensis and T. clusius as subspecies. Considerable chromosomal differentiation in different parts of the range suggests that more than one biological species is currently included under the name T. talpoides (Thaeler 1985; Patton, in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-08-18
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Linzey, A.
Listed as Least Concern because it is very widespread, common, there are no major threats, and it occurs in several protected areas.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widely distributed across central plains and western mountain regions in Canada and the United States, from southern British Columbia to central Alberta and southwestern Manitoba, south to South Dakota and northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, northern Nevada, and northeastern California (Patton, in Wilson and Reeder, 1993).
Countries occurrence:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan); United States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is widespread and common (NatureServe). Estimated densities of up to 91.6/hectare have been recorded (Verts and Carraway 1999).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Northern pocket gophers prefer deep soils along streams and in meadows and cultivated fields, but they are also found in rocky soils and clay. They occupy a wide variety of habitats ranging from sagebrush steppe, mountain meadows and tundra, to agricultural fields, grasslands, and suburban gardens and lawns (MacMahon, in Wilson and Ruff, 1999). They are primarily fossorial. Young are born in a grass or leaf-lined nests in a natal chamber within the underground burrow system. Females are monoestrous. Mating usually occurs from March to mid-June, depending on weather and latitude. Gestation lasts about 19-20 days. Litter size is four to seven. Young disperse from the natal burrow at about two months of age (Jones et al.1983).

They are primarily solitary. Home range may occupy 150-200sq yards. 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). They are active throughout the year. They do not hibernate but may be inactive in winter and midsummer for brief periods. Most burrowing activity occurs in spring and fall when soil is loose. Circadian but peaks of activity at dawn and dusk.
Generation Length (years):1-2

Threats [top]

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

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
4. Grassland -> 4.1. Grassland - Tundra
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Hafner, D.J., Yensen, E. and Kirkland, G.L., Jr. 1998. Status survey and conservation action plan - North American Rodents. IUCN/SSC Rodent Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Huntly, N. and Inouye, R. 1988. Pocket gophers in ecosystems: patterns and mechanisms. BioScience 38: 386-793.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2017).

Jones Jr., J. K., Armstrong, D. M., Hoffmann, R. S. and Jones, C. 1983. Mammals of the Northern Great Plains. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Patton, J.L. 2005. Family Geomyidae. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 859-871. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Thaeler Jr., C. S. 1985. Chromosomal variation in the Thomomys talpoides complex. Acta Zoologica Fennica 170: 15-18.

Verts, B. J. and Caraway, L. N. 1999. Thomomys talpoides. Mammalian Species 618: 1-11.

Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. 1993. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Wilson, D.E. and Ruff, S. 1999. The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Thomomys talpoides (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T42597A115193142. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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