Gopher is the common term for any of several distinct species of small burrowing rodents endemic to North America, including: the pocket gopher (family Geomyidae), also called true gophers, the ground squirrel (family Sciuridae,) Richardson's ground squirrel, and species of prairie dog.
Gophers weigh around 0.5 pounds (230 g), and are about 15 inches (38 cm) long in body length, with a tail 7 inches (18 cm) long. Their lifespan is normally 2–3 years (assuming no diseases or predation). Gophers dig tunnels and subterranean chambers, and are associated with the rodent order, Rodentia. There are over 100 kinds of gophers in America. Gophers, because of their burrowing, can disrupt human plans like commercial agriculture, garden plots, some landscaping, and some underground cables. This has led to their frequent treatment as pests.
Gophers are generally timid but may attack if provoked. If deprived of their normal vegetarian food supply, gophers have been known to resort to cannibalism.
Gophers create a large community of tunnels with large mounds of dirt (not always mounds of dirt at the top) at their entrances, frequently referred to as gopher towns or gopher holes. They are also found in parks. Adult gophers will frequently stand watch at the entrance to a tunnel and whistle when predators are spotted, causing all the other gophers to run for the safety of the tunnels. A gopher town can easily spread to take over large sections of prairie or mountain meadow and may have a population in the thousands. The resulting destruction of plant life will then leave the area a stretch of denuded dirt. Gophers eat shrubs and other vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, radishes, and any other vegetables with juice. They live in North America and like heat.