Prairie Dog Pocket Journal

Price: $13.00
Availability: In Stock
Model: PJ-74
Average Rating: Not Rated

Available Options:
Choose inside page style:
Choose cover color:

Prairie Dog (Cynomus sp.)

Prairie dogs are social animals always living in colonies, or “towns,” which consist of dozens to thousands of family groups. They range on short grass prairies throughout the territory west of the Missouri River.

Prairie dogs exert a tremendous influence on their environment, and ecologists consider the prairie dog to be a “keystone” species in the grasslands habitat. Until the mid- 1800’s bison and antelope were the dominant grazing animals on the prairie responsible for creating ideal habitat for prairie dogs; initial grazing by these herbivores reduces high grasses and other unwanted vegetation creating opportunities for the kinds of short grasses that prairie dogs prefer. Prairie dogs in turn keep these plants closely pruned, especially the short grasses, allowing leafy forbs and legumes to thrive. The burrowing activity of the prairie dogs helps to conserve water by channelling rainfall into underground aquifers reducing the effects of drought. Their soil- mixing activity aerates and enriches the soil. Many species are linked to prairie dog colonies by the habitat they create—these include black-footed ferrets, mountain plovers, ferruginous hawks, western burrowing owls and the swift fox.

Prairie dogs did not fare well in the face of competition from ranchers and farmers; eradication programs significantly lowered their numbers. Currently the biggest threat to this species is sprawl.

artwork and text by Steve Sierigk

Tags: animals,