How long do they live?
- Wild: 3 to 5 years
- Captivity: 8 to 10 years
How big are they?
- Length: 12 to 17 inches
- Weight: 1 ½ to 3 pounds
Where in the world are they?
- Great Plains from Canada to Northern Mexico
What do they have for lunch?
- Wild: Herbs and grasses
- Zoo: High-fiber alfalfa cubes, yams, carrots, and hay.
Where do babies come from?
- Litters consist of 1 to 6 pups.
- The pups remain in the burrows until they are 5 to 6 weeks old.
- The name "prairie dog" comes from its call which sounds like the yap of a small dog.
- They are actually closest to the squirrel in relations.
- They live in large colonies called towns, which are composed of small family groups of up to 20 members called coteries.
- They live in an elaborate system of burrows, where they seek shelter from predators and severe weather.
- Prairie dogs communicate and strengthen their bonds through a series of vocalizations, playing, nuzzling, and grooming.
- The family system helps them deal with predators more effectively too.
- They will bite off tall plants around the burrows to see better.
- CITES –Not listed
- IUCN –Least concern
- Humans have targeted this rodent with poison campaigns as agriculture and livestock ranching claims habitat previously used by the prairie dog.
- The main threat, however, is the loss of habitat due to this agricultural expansion.
- Appendices I, II, and III of CITES. (February 5, 2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
- Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed January 2016. http://www.eol.org/pages/311548/overview
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search