Since the beginning of time, (or at least since before the last ice age)gophers and moles have been on a relentless mission to stay out of the radar of predators. However, the trend shows them on the decline as a result of climate changes in the northern hemisphere. Studies continue to prove that gophers, moles and other small mammals in North America coincided with the global climate change about 12,000 years ago. Recent studies and findings extracted from a cave in northern California indicate a wide range of biological activity existed in a relatively small but diverse climactic and topographical region.
The findings show fossils from different sediment depths near the cave and discovered that various small mammal populations decreased, whereas others increased. One of the species that showed a decline were the Mazama pocket gopher which migrated to colder environs once temperatures began increasing. This trend happens with many critters of varying size and complexity. Populations of other ground and tree-dwelling mammals such as ground squirrels, white-footed voles, and various chipmunks also decreased. However, as they declined, more food became available so deer mice, for example, found new hope and opportunity to not only survive, but in many cases, thrive.
This pattern of species deprivation and adaptation will likely continue in the decades to come. The overall food chain will also need to follow suit with this change in order to keep the natural balance of predator and prey.