Botta’s Pocket Gopher site in Southern California

Interstate 5 connects San Francisco to L.A., so visiting naturalists may well end up on it. If so, one stop is worth noting. There’s a rest area in Lebec, an hour before Bakersfield and an hour and a half north of Los Angeles. The east side rest area (accessed only from north-bound traffic lanes) has had Botta’s Pocket Gophers on 3 out my last 3 visits this summer, and at least once in a previous summer. They are moderately habituated to people, so seem easier to see here than elsewhere.

A nearby state park at Fort Tejon also is probable habitat.

Other than American Crows, Eurasian House Sparrows, and Brewer’s Blackbirds, not much else is here.

Charles Hood, Palmdale CA


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