Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Botta's Pocket Gopher

Thomomys bottae


Brown rodent with large, pocket cheeks and a light tan color around the mouth. It has intimidatingly large, flat teeth that it will use to defend itself. The claws are long and are used for digging the burrows.


Burrows in the ground along trail at Kit Carson park


"...native to western North America, from California east to Texas and from southern Utah and Colorado south to Mexico. It is also known in some sources as valley pocket gopher, particularly in California. Their most characteristic features are their large cheek pouches, from which the word "pocket" in their name derives. " - Wikipedia

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Thank you J, Yuko and Thurd13!

Thurd13 9 years ago

Great series....

YukoChartraw 9 years ago

Absolutely adorable!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 9 years ago

How comical!

Me too! It's too bad they're so destructive.

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

I love its face!

CindyBinghamKeiser 9 years ago

Thank you Yorkie!

YorkieSutaryo 9 years ago

cute little guy..n nicely spotted Cindy :D

CindyBinghamKeiser 9 years ago

:) Thank you Ava! Unfortunately we do have these in our yard but they're not as brave... unfortunately.

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 9 years ago

Wow! What a great series (as long as it's not in my garden!)

CindyBinghamKeiser 9 years ago

I think it's adorable too. It would be more so if it didn't have those nasty teeth! Karen, it may be a mama. It was pulling some grasses into the hole but was more intent on watching me.

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

What a face!

KarenL 9 years ago

How adorable! Fantastic that it let you get so close!
It may be young or perhaps a female with babies checking you were no threat?

CindyBinghamKeiser 9 years ago

Thank you all. I was glad this one was as brave, or young inexperienced like you said Emma! The others I noticed just pulled their heads down into the hole and hid.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Sometimes when they are young,the animals feel more confident of themselves and they are more curious. I have noticed often that the younger ones will hang around for a longer time to check you out.

AntónioGinjaGinja 9 years ago

beautiful,great find,very cut guy

MaryEvans2 9 years ago

Wonderful series - and what a cute little guy.

CindyBinghamKeiser 9 years ago

Yes, I was on the trail and saw something move. It let me get only a couple feet away. It was very bold and stared me down!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Were you taking a walk and it just popped up?

Escondido, California, USA

Spotted on Feb 3, 2012
Submitted on Feb 3, 2012

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team