Roy Prairie Pocket Gopher - Mazama (Thomomys mazama glacialis)

Photo of a gloved hand holding up a Mazama pocket gopher
Roy Prairie Pocket Gopher - Mazama
Category: Mammals
State status: Threatened
Federal status: Threatened
Roy Prairie Pocket Gopher - Mazama is a subspecies of Mazama Pocket Gopher. Visit the Mazama Pocket Gopher page for more information.
If you see this species, please share your observation using the WDFW wildlife reporting tool or email us at  wildlife.data@dfw.wa.gov. Be sure to include a photo of the species for verification and location (latitude/longitude coordinates) of your observation. 

Pocket gophers are the only truly subterranean rodents in North America and are rarely observed above ground. They are herbivores that require grasses and forbs for food and well-drained soil for burrowing.

They are generally territorial and solitary outside the reproductive season, and produce one litter per year, with an average litter size of five young. After weaning, female offspring often establish a burrow system nearby, but male offspring disperse.

Burrows include foraging tunnels and chambers for nesting and caching of food. Though territorial, burrow systems are often aggregated in favorable habitat. Pocket gophers are ecologically important as prey items and in influencing soils and plant species diversity, and their burrows are a retreat for amphibians, reptiles, and many invertebrates.

Pocket gopher predators include owls, coyotes, and bobcats.

Conservation

This species is identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) under the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). SGCN-classified species include both those with and without legal protection status under the Federal or State Endangered Species programs, as well as game species with low populations. The WDFW SWAP is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and five U.S. territories to develop conservation action plans for fish, wildlife and their natural habitats—identifying opportunities for species' recovery before they are imperiled and more limited.
This species is identified as a Priority Species under WDFW's Priority Habitat and Species Program. Priority species require protective measures for their survival due to their population status, sensitivity to habitat alteration, and/or recreational, commercial, or tribal importance. The PHS program is the agency's main means of sharing fish and wildlife information with local governments, landowners, and others who use it to protect priority habitats for land use planning.