Valley Pocket Gopher


Scientific Name: Thomomys bottae
Classification: Small mammal - rodent
Size: Head and body – about 5 to 7 inches. Tail length – 2 to 3 ¾ inches. Weight – about 2 ½ to 8 ½ ounces

There are several subspecies of the valley pocket gopher. Two subspecies of this species are considered sensitive in nevada, thomomys bottae abstrusus, fish springs pocket gopher, and thomomys bottae curtatus, san antonio pocket gopher.


Size and coloration of valley pocket gopher varies depending on the geographic area in which it lives. The fur is usually a shade of brown.



Valley pocket gophers may be found in a variety of habitat and soil types. Habitat types include cropland, desert, grassland, savanna, chaparral, and woodland.



Both subspecies, abstrusus and curtatus, are endemic to nevada. Valley pocket gophers occupy the southwestern united states and mexico.


Natural History:

Valley pocket gophers are generally solitary except during the breeding season. They are active year-round in day or night. They utilize underground burrow systems.


Food Habits:

The diet includes roots, bulbs, tubers, and other vegetation parts. Foraging occurs underground in day or night and on the surface at night or on overcast days.



4 to 8 young are born after a gestation period of approximately 19 days in an underground burrow. Breeding occurs 2 or more times per year.



Valley pocket gophers are secure across their range. Subspecies abstrusus andcurtatus are listed as nevada sensitive species, blm sensitive species, and nevada national heritage program sensitive and threatened species.


Reason for Status:

Both subspecies abstrusus and curtatus are considered vulnerable due to their reliance on unique, specialized habitat and a very limited geographic range.


Management & Conservation:

Complete distribution data is needed on the two subspecies of the valley pocket gopher in nevada.