Gophers are small, burrowing animals about five to twelve inches long with an average weight of 8 ounces. Powerfully built in the forequarters, their front feet have long, sharp claws. Gophers have brownish soft fur, large cheek pouches and flattened heads with small ears and eyes. Their hairy tails are about four inches long, and are used to navigate through tunnels when moving backwards.

Gophers create fan-shaped mounds that are often large enough to cause damage to passing farm equipment. It is not uncommon for gopher tunnels to interfere with irrigation systems, dams, fields and, of course, homeowners' lawns and gardens.

Diet of the Gophers


Gophers are notorious hoarders. They use their cheek pouches to store food before taking it to their burrows, where they stockpile astounding amounts of food. Gophers are omnivores and love to eat nuts, berries, grass, bulbs, leaves and insects.

Daily Amount:

60% of its bodyweight each day

Daily Water:

Utilizes moisture in food

Daily Food:

Nuts, seeds, roots, grass, bulbs, berries, leaves, insects

Habitat of the Gophers


Gophers live throughout North America, in woodland and grass prairies and from coastal to mountainous regions. They spend their days building complex underground tunnel systems in areas where the soil is soft and easily tunneled.

These large networks can often contain thousands of gopher residents. Gophers are attracted to moist, light-textured soil with edible vegetation. Their main runways are located up to 18 inches below the surface of the earth.


Regional North America

Nest Location:

Underground tunnel systems 18 inches below ground; nesting burrows up to 6 feet below ground

Home Range:

Up to 700 yards

Active Periods:

Day and Night

Reproduction of the gopher


Gophers breed only once or twice a year, typically in the spring. Female gophers give birth to three or four young per litter after a gestation period of less than three weeks. The young develop rapidly and by five weeks are weaned and ready to establish their own burrows. The average lifespan for a gopher is two to three years.

Litter Size:


No. of Litters:

1–2 per year

Sexual Maturity:

6–12 months

Gestation Period:

18–19 days

Breeding Season:



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