Biologists have estimated that more than 170 invertebrate species are impacted by the prairie dog"s existence.

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natural HISTORY

BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG } Cynomys ludovicianusFAMILY: Sciuridae

DESCRIPTION: The black-tailed prairie dog is a daytime-active, medium-sized rodent, ranging in size from 12 come 15 inches, consisting of a three- come four-inch tail. The weight varieties from 1.5 to three pounds. It is generally a tan color, through a lighter underbelly and black-tipped tail.

HABITAT: Like most prairie dogs, the black-tailed prefers short-grass prairie habitats and avoids any type of environments with diminished visibility, including heavy brush and also tall grass areas.

RANGE: The black-tailed prairie dog is discovered in isolated populations from main Texas to just north that the Canadian border.

MIGRATION: Black-tailed prairie dogs live in big social colonies and do no migrate. Males will disperse from their home household groups upon sexual maturation but typically stay within the very same larger team or emigrate come another adjacent colony. Really infrequently, males will certainly attempt to develop a completely new colony.

BREEDING: Breeding habits are reflect in the prairie dog"s society structure. A solitary male typically mates through multiple females in his home family group. Competition because that mates is minimal and communal parenting is typical for young the have emerged from the burrow. Gestation takes about 35 days, and litters selection in size from one to eight pups, though 3 is average. Adjustment takes location only once a year, through timing closely related to latitude. Most groups breed in so late winter and early spring.

LIFE CYCLE: A wild prairie dog"s average life expectancy is about three to five years.

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FEEDING: Omnivores through nature, black-tailed prairie dogs favor to eat brief grasses, low-growing weeds, and flowering plants. Lock will periodically eat insects but attain the majority of your nutritional needs, consisting of water consumption, indigenous vegetation.

THREATS: Black-tailed prairie dogs challenge myriad hazards — many of them human being caused. Often regarded by ranchers and also farmers as pests, populations have actually been intentionally reduced by poisoning and shooting. Habitat devastation in the surname of breakthrough and exotic diseases has play a an important role in reducing populaces to their current levels. Prairie dogs are likewise threatened through disease.

populace TREND: once one the the most abundant phibìc American mammals, black-tailed prairie dogs to be historically uncovered in suitable habitats throughout the continent. Individual swarms may have numbered in the thousands of millions, v one colony reported to have contained around 400 million individuals. Because of intentional eradication and also habitat destruction, nests are now much smaller and also found in only isolated spot of still-viable habitat. Recent estimates place the total populace at approximately 10 to 20 million individuals, a around 95 percent reduction contrasted to historical numbers.