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Yellowstone National Park Report

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Several important environmental factors which affect the dynamics of pocket gopher populations have been identified: water content at peak snowpack and depth of snow in spring (Hansen and Ward, 1966; Reid, 1973); weather and Its influence on annual food supplies and cover (Howard and Childs, 1959); production of annual and perennial forbs (Keith et al., 1959; Tietjen et al., 1967); and ground water levels and snow depths (Ingles, 1949; Hansen, 1962). A need for specific information on pocket gophers in Pelican Valley, Yellowstone National Park arose from interest in interactions between grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and northern pocket gophers (Thomomys talpoides). Mealey (1975) and Graham (1978) suggested that pocket gophers and their caches may serve as seasonally important food items for grizzlies in Yellowstone National Park.