Habitat Characteristics That Influence Maritime Pocket Gopher Densities


  • Jorge D. Cortez
  • Scott E. Henke
  • Richard Riddle


Population Density, Geomys personatus maritimus, Habitat selection, Maritime Pocket Gopher, preference


The Maritime pocket gopher (Geomys personatus maritimus) is a subspecies of Texas pocket gopher endemic to the Flour Bluff area of coastal southern Texas. Little is known about the habitat and nutritional requirements of this subspecies. The amount and quality of habitat necessary to sustain Maritime pocket gophers has not been studied. Our objectives were to assess the habitat, vegetation, and nutritional parameters available to Maritime pocket gophers at four different levels of gopher mound density. We chose study sites with zero, low (25-50 mounds/ha), intermediate (75-150 mounds/ha), and high (>200 mounds/ha) gopher mound densities. Vegetation and soil samples were collected using 0.25 m2 quadrats; vegetation was divided into above- and below-ground biomass for analysis. Maritime pocket gophers avoided areas of clay soils with high levels of calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and sodium compounds. A direct relationship existed between gopher activity within an area and vegetation biomass. However, nutritional quality of an area did not appear to be a determining factor for the presence of Maritime pocket gophers.




How to Cite

Cortez, J. D., Henke, S. E., & Riddle, R. (2016). Habitat Characteristics That Influence Maritime Pocket Gopher Densities. Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 26, 14–24. Retrieved from https://txjanr.agintexas.org/index.php/txjanr/article/view/30



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