Chicago Wildlife Watch Talk

no gophers in our area?

  • ForestPreserve by ForestPreserve moderator

    We have a chipmunk classification, but nothing for the "thirteen-lined ground squirrel", also known as the gopher. I've seen them west of the Fox River, but not in the immediate Chicago area. Any reason we have chipmunks instead of gophers?


  • mason_UWI by mason_UWI scientist

    This actually stumped us for a second, but after some discussion between where we have observed thirteen-lined ground squirrels, we do not think we place our camera traps where you would observe them. We have seen some in Kane county, but they are more likely to be seen in grassland and rural areas, which we don't really capture with our sampling transects.

    A different name for 13-lined ground squirrels is a striped gopher, but don't confuse them for pocket gophers (which are also called gophers). They are very different species! I don't know who decided to call a bunch of different species gopher, but it has been a constant source of confusion for me since I started to become interested in mammals!