Black - Tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys Iudovicianus)


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Black tailed prairie dog munching





Habitat/Location



The Black tailed prairie dog enjoys to spend its time in short grass due to lack of visibilty and predators. The Black tailed prairie dog is found in the Great Plains of North America from the USA-Canada border to the USA-Mexico border. These little rottens live in colonies that once occupied 40-80 million acres within this 400 million acre region, and were often tens of miles long. Today their small, scattered colonies occupy 1-2 million acres within this region. They have been eradicated completely from Arizona but survive in small numbers.


Niche

Black tailed prairie dogs like to eat plant materials, particularly low-growing weeds and grasses, they are Herbivores. The size of a black tailed prairie dog comes as the following: height 12 inches, length 12 - 15 inches and weight 1 - 3 pounds. The black tailed prairie dogs doesnt enjoy to spend its time in the hot sunny wheather, instead it comes out at night. During the day the males dig holes and guards their territory while the females take care of the young. Should a predator or any other danger enter their territory, the leader will bark out a warning, after which the community will dive into their burrows and wait for the "all clear" call before venturing out again.
Females produce one litter of 2 to10 pups each year in the early spring. All females give birth at the same time, but about 40 percent of them lose their pups to other mothers. The pups begin making trips outside their homes at 6 weeks and reach adulthood by 2 years old. Prairie dogs can live up to 5 years. Prairie dog babies will be born in April and May only and once born they are blind and deaf. The mother must nurse them for 6 weeks until they can finally open their eyes, they nurse the pup alone because the father is guarding the territory.
Black tailed prairie dogs never travel alone. They always travel in groups of at least 5 or more. They do this to scare of predators and to collect more food for their pups. These groups of 5 or more are called colonys and a colony usually consists of one male adult,five females, and a number of their young. Once a colony ventrues off they will not come back for days which prevents food shortage and soil damage. There are some animals that will like the prairie dog and not try to harm it. One of these is the burrowing oil. The owl will make use of the burrows from the prairie dog and use it for its own.
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Home for a black tailed prairie dog uploaded 10/12/09