• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

Valley Pocket Gopher

Valley Pocket Gopher
A gopher inspects its surroundings in the dunes near Crissy Marsh.
Will Elder, NPS
 

Natural History: This species is also know as Botta's Pocket Gopher. It is a solitary animal that inhabits subterranean tunnels in moist soil. It is active throughout the year, both during the day and night. This species subsists on roots, tubers, and certain aboveground plants. It breeds from November to April.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, the Pocket Gopher is found in areas of of annual and serpentine grassland, coastal and dune scrub, forests, and in lawns.

Frequency: This species is abundant in the Presidio and provides an important food resource for birds of prey, and carnivorous mammals.

Identifying Characteristics: The pocket gopher is typically between 120 to 180 mm in length. It has large, exposed, yellow, incisor teeth. It is very variable in size and color but generally takes on a brown to black coloration. Another identifying characteristic is a single indistinct groove near the inner border of each incisor.

 

Did You Know?

United States Capitol Building

In 1872, there was a proposal in Congress for the Presidio to become a San Francisco city park. The Army reported that 800 acres were required for national defense, provided barracks be relocated. Despite Congressman Cole's attempts, however, the Presidio reservation remained intact.