* Threatened or Endangered
Prairie Dog *
: Cynomys ludovicianus
: Throughout most of the western United States from Canada to Mexico -- Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming -- including higher elevations of the Mojave, Great Basin and Chihuahuan deserts.
: Grasses, roots, weeds, blossoms and sometimes insects.
: Weight 1 ½ to 3 pounds
: Once very common they have disappeared in many areas. Prairie Dogs only inhabit about 2% of the range that they once did.
Also called “barking squirrels,” their genus name cynomys means “mouse dog.” One of the largest prairie dog towns was in Texas where a town was reportedly 100 miles wide and 250 miles long, with an estimated 400 million animals. Lewis and Clark were fascinated with these small rodents and spent many hours attempting to dig one out of its burrow. Prairie dogs have a variety of vocalizations which warn other members of the town about impending danger.