Botta's Pocket Gopher

Thomomys bottae

It's not hard to find gophers in these parts.  This one is enjoying a patch of strawberries in the Westmont Garden.  While often viewed as a pest--and indeed, they can do a great deal of damage to the landscape--these small native mammals do a great to deal loosen the hard soil, and their burrows provide habitats for a wide range of species, particularly reptiles.

Photo Credit: Amanda Sparkman