The Tacoma Pocket Gopher is Extinct

One little-known and seldom-seen species with Tacoma in its name has gone the way of the dodo. That’s the news from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Tacoma Pocket Gopher, a subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher, was on the list to be considered for endangered species status when it went extinct.

Four other species of Mazama pocket gopher are on the list to be considered for endangered status. If these relatives of the Tacoma pocket gopher are listed, more than 9,000 acres of prairie land in Pierce and Thurston counties and JBLM would be identified as critical habitat, limiting their use. The gophers share their habitat with two other endangered species – the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly and the streaked horned lark – as well as with some human neighbors.

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, “The last records of Tacoma pocket gophers, [T.m. tacomensis] were of individuals killed by domestic cats.”

Farewell Tacoma Pocket Gopher, we hardly knew you.

Do you want to help the folks at Exit133 pay our bills and keep up with of all things Tacoma? Do you want to see even more coverage? Exit133 has always been free to read and comment, and it will stay that way. However, over the years, readers have contributed to the bank account to help us keep up our coverage of goings-on around town. Contribute and this message disappears!

Support Exit133


fred davie

Liberal Action Alert:

We will need to start a vast government program to make sure this never happens again. What species is next?

The fact that nobody in Tacoma has ever heard of a Tacoma Pocket gopher makes no difference. It would be easier to convince the public of this crisis by establishing a Pocket Gopher Reconcilation Park so that we can publically mourne the poor gophers.

December 13, 2012 at 11:17 am / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 0

Ideal Froth

Mr. Davie,

You are correct.  We certainly do need another vast government program to ensure that species are never wiped out.

I propose we begin with a species and culture that is set to leave its forefront status as soon as 2042.  Rather than let this pass quietly into the night, we should unite together to save the white male and its culture from obliteration.

Incentives and taxes should be levied, protective legislation passed and sanctuaries established so that this valuable culture be preserved permanently.

December 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 1


That maybe a little too obtuse for fredo to understand. The changing demographics of USofA isn’t discussed on the faux news channel.

December 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 0


That’s one dirty dirty pocket gopher burrowing in and out of that hole…  (Sigh)  =)

December 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


My pet bobcat killed a Tacoma Pocket Gopher.

December 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Mofo from the Hood

Every square inch of Tacoma has been searched and not one pocket gopher anywhere, in any of the miles of famous Tacoma Pocket Gopher tunnels? Has anyone tried looking at the B & I Circus Store? (don’t tell me that’s Lakewood) What about the Point Defiance Zoo with its theme of Pacific Rim goodness? What about outside the repressive zoo?

Why oh why wasn’t Tacoma identified as critical habitat for the Tacoma Pocket Gopher? The Tacoman’s of the @2 Ideal Froth subspecies could have relocated elsewhere.

December 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

John F

Tell me one good thing the pocket gopher does for the economy, human life, business, etc. 

Do they pay taxes to keep all the bloated county governments operating (especially Thurston County)?

Counties <span class=“caps”>HAVE</span> TO have taxes to operate. When property owners are restricted in selling or building on their properties which generates more property tax, excise tax, payroll tax, sales tax, etc., etc., are they going to start sending tax statements to the pocket gophers? Maybe they can pay their tax bill is dirt, pebbles some other ‘green’ method…

Things are getting <span class=“caps”>WAY</span> out of whack….

December 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


So apparently you’ve never heard of this thing called a food chain.

Birds of prey; owls, hawks, eagles, etc. will miss the pocket gopher. And not seeing Bald Eagles soar overhead should bother all humans, even republican humans.

December 14, 2012 at 12:15 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Mofo from the Hood

It’s been established that the Tacoma Pocket Gopher is a subspecies. Read “Surplus.” Regarding that fact, it has not been established that every square inch of the universe has been searched. Until that search has been conducted then there is no reason to believe that Tacoma Pocket Gophers don’t exist.

December 14, 2012 at 8:28 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

fred davie


ironic that you can defend the natural world in one post and defend the practice of commuting great distances to work in another post. The enormous infrastructure required to deliver you to work every day and return you home is devasting our natural habitats. I’m not holding you personally responsible for loss of the Tacoma gophers of course, but people <span class=“caps”>LIKE</span> <span class=“caps”>YOU</span> (many of whom probably aren’t republicans) have endangered this and similar species.

December 14, 2012 at 8:42 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Mofo from the Hood

Furthermore, gophers don’t recognize political boundaries. Therefore we must consider this issue in relation to the City of Tacoma’s 2013 State legislative agenda priorities.

The Tacoma Pocket Gopher is a sector of the natural population that has been historically underserved. We humans, if we have any pretensions to civil rights, must use our spiritual capacities of intellect and will to pass legislation to benefit the Tacoma Pocket Gopher.

December 14, 2012 at 9:11 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


Hey, I have an idea — let’s stop the blame and divisive ideological attacks on each other, and instead work to meet economic needs while protecting important habitat so we don’t cause more native species to blink out unnecessarily?

December 14, 2012 at 9:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Mofo from the Hood

Who’s to say that the reduction of Tacoma Pocket Gophers isn’t caused by poachers from the economically lucrative bush meat trade?

December 14, 2012 at 9:42 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


Apparently we have some real bright systems people commenting here. Tonight, open up the back of your TV, find some insignificant looking component, and cut it out. Maybe take out a few of its look-alikes. It’s small, you don’t know why it’s there, it pays no taxes, and your TV sure as hell doesn’t need it. Those little things in the TV are like pocket gophers, they just suck up resources, and the TV won’t miss them, anymore than Tacoma and its ecosystem will miss the pocket gopher. We know this, right?

December 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Mofo from the Hood

Bob, there’s no little things in my TV that are like pocket gophers.

December 15, 2012 at 2:00 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Carole Lyle

Good Job again, Humans ~ the scourge of the planet ~ there aren’t enough good ones to save this planet, I think…..we just killed off another innocent creature for no good reason – it disgusts and embarrasses me

December 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


What are gophers good for? 

Besides being part of the food chain, as tacoma_1 has mentioned, there is increasing evidence that gophers play a key role in increasing biodiversity in ecosystems.  The dirt that they overturn when making their tunnels essentially tills the soil making it possible for certain plant species to thrive. 

Gopher burrows are used by toads, salamanders, and other animals as habitat which protects them from predators.  Also, gophers were important in reintroduction of life after the Mt. St. Helens eruption.…

December 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


So apparently, gophers are tiny little rototillers, or is that rodent-tillers.  The ecosystem will miss them.

December 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Mofo from the Hood

A one-legged Tacoma Pocket Gopher and a blind Tacoma Pocket Gopher are approaching each other in a tunnel. The blind gopher calls out, “How’s it going?” The one-legged gopher says, “I can’t kick. And you?” The blind Tacoma Pocket Gopher responds, “I’ve seen better days!”

December 19, 2012 at 7:56 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


Um this makes no sens

December 1, 2017 at 11:21 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Post A New Comment

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Potentially Related Articles