Vertebrates and their damage

  • Ground squirrels
  • Jackrabbits
  • Meadow voles
  • Pocket gophers
Click on photos to enlarge. Names link to more on identification and biology.
California ground squirrel.

Ground squirrel adult

Identification tip: The adult head and body ranges from 9 to 11 inches long and its somewhat bushy tail is about as long as its body. The fur is mottled dark and light brown or gray.

Adult jackrabbit.

Jackrabbit (hare) adult

Identification tip: The adult is about the size of a large house cat. It has very long ears, short front legs, and long hind legs.

Adult meadow mouse.

Meadow vole (meadow mouse) adult

Identification tip: Adult voles are larger than the house mouse but smaller than rats. Compared to deer mice, however, voles have a more robust body, less obvious ears, and a relatively shorter tail.

Adult pocket gopher, Thomomys sp.

Pocket gopher

Identification tip: The adult pocket gopher is 6 to 8 inches long with a stout brown, gray, or yellowish body and small ears and eyes. It is rarely seen aboveground.

Holes chewed in a microsprinkler drip line by California ground squirrel, Spermophilus beecheyi.

Jack rabbit (hare), Meadow vole, or Pocket gopher damage

Identification tip: Rabbits, voles, and gophers may gnaw drip irrigation lines.

The crown and lower trunk of this tree have been girdled by voles, Microtus sp.

Meadow vole damage

Identification tip: Voles feed on bark around the root crown. Small trees are most susceptible to being completely girdled.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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