U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Published in Mammal Trapping, pages 131-139, G. Proulx, editor. 1999.
Alpha Wildlife Research 6r Management Ltd., Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada.


Fossorial mammals such as the pocket gopher (Thomomys spp.) are well adapted to life in an underground closed burrow system. These animals can have considerable influence on ecosystems and can cause significant damage to agricultural crops, forest resources, and field machinery. The research and management of pocket gopher populations poses many challenges to land managers and research biologists. Both live-trapping for research purposes and kill trapping for control purposes are important tools for working with pocket gophers. Trapping can be an effective and efficient tool if the proper traps are used and trappers are trained to place traps properly and avoid some common mistakes. Many types of kill traps are available on the commercial market, but live traps are more difficult to obtain. In this paper, we review the types, availability, and use of kill traps and live traps for pocket gopher control and research.