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Black-tailed prairie dog

Black-tailed prairie dog

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Scientific Name:

Cynomys ludovicianus


Southcentral Canada, USΑ, Northeast Mexico


Herbivore. Grasses, cacti, bulbs, herbs.


Habitat: Short-grass prairies

Dimensions: 37cm

Weight: males 905g, females 819g

Gestation: 33-38 days, 1-8 young

Lifespan: 3-5

Social structure: Colonies of hundred to million individuals

Estimated population in the wild: Decreasing

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Threats: Habitat loss due to agriculture and urbanization, exotic disease,  population control via poisoning and shooting because it is considered as a pest for crops.

Did you know that:

  1. They are rodents and not dogs! Their name derives from their bark-like call. At least 12  alarm calls are known and it is believed that they can communicate detailed information about predators.
  2. Each colony shares a complex network of burrows. The largest ever recorded colony is 65 billion m² containing ~400 million animals! Colonies are subdivided into “wards” and then into smaller family units.


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