South Sound Prairies
Gopher Facts

Want to know more about gophers? Learn more at the US Fish and Wildlife. and explore the technical documents at The Center for Natural Lands Management - http://www.southsoundprairies.org/ .

More information on the gophers:
Species Assessment and Listing Priority Assignment Form.
Species Fact Sheet.

If you are lucky enough to have gophers on your property, learn how to live with your rare species .


Thurston County Development
Thurston County is required to update their Critical Areas Ordinance. Here is information on this process , including prairies and gophers.

Wolf Haven International
Learn more about how Wolf Haven manages their prairie for Mazama pocket gophers.

Mazama Pocket Gopher


Mazama pocket gophers are an important component in South Sound prairies . While still found in Thurston and Pierce Counties, they are globally rare and considered threatened with extinction by the State of Washington.

The Mazama Pocket Gopher

What is 8 inches long, lives underground and is a critical member of the South Sound Prairies?

It’s the Mazama pocket gopher, a state threatened species that plays an important role in the ecology of our South Sound prairies!

Meet the Mazama Pocket Gopher

Why is the Mazama Pocket Gopher important to the prairies?

But digging isn’t the only fascinating feature of the Mazama pocket gopher :

Conserving the Pocket Gopher

Conservation efforts are underway for the Mazama pocket gopher . They are protected in some conservation areas, such as Tenalquot Preserve of The Nature Conservancy and Scatter Creek Wildlife Area. Additionally, projects to establish new populations are underway by Washington Fish and Wildlife at Wolf Haven and West Rocky Prairie Wildlife Area. That said, populations are threatened with continuing development of their habitat, and even when left alone habitats can degrade due to invasion of pest plants, especially Scotch broom.

Recently, some landowners and private property rights groups have expressed the South Sound  concerns about limiting development of pocket gopher habitat. As with many endangered species, these concerns can be minimized through a variety of proactive conservation strategies, some of which are already underway in the South Sound. Additional strategies, such as protection of additional gopher sites and development of an off-site mitigation program may be needed to maintain this interesting and important species in the fast growing South Sound area.

Copyright © 2011, South Sound Prairies . All rights reserved. Photo Credit: Rod Gilbert