Prairie Dog

Prairie Dog

Prairie dogs are five species of herbivorous burrowing rodents indigenous to the North American grasslands.

Scientific Name – Cynomys

Classification – Marmotini

Length/Size – 30 and 40 cm (12 and 16 in)

Weight – 0.5 and 1.5 kilograms (1 and 3 lb)

Top Speed – 59 kph (37 mph)

Life Expectancy – Unknown in the wild (thought to be around 3.5 years); up to 8 in captivity

Mating Season  February – March

Gestation Period – 34 days

Social Structure – Live in small close-knit families called ‘coteries’ consisting of an adult male, one or more adult females, and their offspring

Geographical Distribution – Varies between subspecies

Natural Habitat – Prairies and open grasslands

World Population – May be between 10 and 20 million

Conservation Status – Least Concern

Diet – Primarily grasses and small seeds; occasionally insects

Predators – Black-footed ferrets, golden eagles, prairie falcons, coyotes, bobcats and badgers