Prairie Dog
  • Small, burrowing rodent
  • Native to the grasslands of North America
  • About 12-16 inches long
  • Found throughout the United States , Mexico , and Canada
  • Primarily found west of the Mississippi River
  • Live in colonies or “towns”
  • Collections of prairie dog families can span hundreds of acres
  • Families usually consist of 1 male and 2 – 4 females
  • Prairie dog tunnel systems help channel rainwater into the water table to prevent runoff and erosion
  • Tunnels usually have several chambers
  • Can descend vertically as much as 17 feet and horizontally 90 yards
  • Can detect predators from afar and then alert other prairie dogs to the danger with a high-pitched call
  • Use a system of vocal communication to describe specific predators
  • Trim vegetation around their colonies to remove any cover for predators
  • Burrows generally contain several escape routes
  • Mostly herbivorous, but it will eat some insects
  • Feeds primarily on grasses and broadleaf forbs