Gophers are easily identified by their long, hard front teeth, tiny ears, small eyes and short tails. They are about 5” to 10” tall. Gophers are vegetarians only eating roots, trees, shrubs, grass and plants.
Gophers are known for building complex underground tunnel systems. They use their front legs and long teeth to push dirt out of their tunnels onto the grass above. They like to be alone and only one gopher will be found in a tunnel system. Gophers can be responsible for ruining lawns, killing trees and destroying gardens, but they can also be an important part of the local ecosystem. They increase soil fertility by mixing plant material and fecal wastes into the soil. They can also speed up the formation of new soil by bringing materials to the surface and they also serve as food for a variety of animals including owls, coyotes, weasels, and snakes.