The way to identify a gopher from a mole is to look at the mounds. Gophers create a dirt mound in the shape of a fan moving outward from the center of the hole. Moles also leave similar looking mounds sometimes pushing up a lot of dirt making it hard for inexperienced homeowners to tell the difference between gophers and moles. One obvious sign of moles is their lifted ridges left behind as they travel through your yard.
Gophers are herbivores so they eat plants. If your plants are damaged or disappearing, a possible cause is you have a gopher. Gophers can make tunnels up to 200 yards in a year and move more than 2 tons of soil.