Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


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The presence of pocket gophers on rangeland and farmland is highly visible due to the earth mounds which they build. The nuisance impact of their mounds and acknowledged long-term beneficial effects on soil (Laycock and Richardson 1975) result in a value which is debatable. The impact of various species of Thomomys on herbage production of rangelands has been widely reported (Fitch and Bentley 1949; Richens 1965; Turner 1969; Laycock and Richardson 1975; Alsager 1977). However, besides our studies in Nebraska, we could find no literature concerning the effect of Geomys on forage production and no literature concerning the effect of any gopher on alfalfa production. The objective of our paper is to review the impact of plains pocket gophers (Geomys bursarius) on forage production. This includes the effects of gophers on alfalfa production.