The white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus ) is found in western Wyoming and western Colorado with small areas in eastern Utah and southern Montana. The largest populations are in Wyoming where they are known colloquially as "chiselers". This prairie dog species lives at an elevation between 5,000 and 10,000 feet, generally a higher elevation than other prairie dog species. Its predators include black-footed ferrets, badgers, and golden eagles.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less ...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
A fossorial animal is one adapted to digging which lives primarily but not solely, underground. Some examples are badgers, naked mole-rats, clams, ...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygynandry is a mating system in which both males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season.
Colonial animals live in large aggregations composed of two or more conspecific individuals in close association with or connected to, one another....
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Hibernation is a state of minimal activity and metabolic depression undergone by some animal species. Hibernation is a seasonal heterothermy charac...
White-Tailed Prairie Dogs are tan-brown in color, with large eyes and a dark patch on their cheeks above and below each eye. Males in this species tend to be slightly larger than females. This prairie dog species weighs between 28 - 53oz (800 - 1500g), while having a length between 12 - 16in (315 - 399mm).
White-tailed prairie dogs are found in western Wyoming and western Colorado with small areas in eastern Utah and southern Montana in the United States. They inhabit higher elevations and meadows with dry, desert grasslands and shrublands.
White-tailed prairie dogs are diurnal. They are usually active in the morning and in the afternoon. After winter, when they emerge from hibernation, they repare the burrows. When the weather is bad they prefer to stay underground. White-tailed prairie dogs are very social and live in colonies that are divided into several family clans. A colony has 6 different clans on average. When foraging, clans often feed in the same areas, especially if there is enough food around. Pups stay near their burrows and spend time playing with others, wrestling and chasing each other. Females usually spend time with their pups and males usually wander much farther from their clans, especially during breeding season. White-tailed prairie dogs use visual signals and barks for communication. If during a group feeding and an individual stands up and looks around, the rest prairie dogs will also stand up and scan the area. These prairie dogs also use mounds as lookout points that surround their burrows.
White-tailed prairie dogs are herbivores. They feed on grasses, forbs, and sedges.
White-tailed prairie dogs are polygynandrous (promiscuous) where both males and females have multiple partners during the breeding season. These animals breed when females emerge from hibernation in late March and early April. The gestation period lasts around 30 days. Females give birth to 1 litter per year consisting of 2-8 young. The mother nurses and cares for her pups within 4-5 weeks after which young leave the burrow. At this time they are quite independent. Females use different ways to protect their offspring after they emerge from the burrow. For example, in the morning, the mother is the first one who comes out of the burrow and if there are predators nearby she produces warning calls. Young White-tailed prairie dogs become reproductively mature at 1 year old.
White-tailed prairie dogs are threatened by human persecution (shooting and poisoning), and a disease called Sylvatic Plague that can infect all prairie dogs.
The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the White-tailed prairie dog total population size, but this animal is common and widespread throughout its known range. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List, however its numbers today are decreasing.
White-tailed prairie dogs play important roles in their ecosystem. They modify the vegetation in the area, aerate the soil and provide food as well as shelter for a variety of predators, including mammals, snakes, and birds of prey. Being primary consumers, they provide a vital link in food webs.
Social animals are those animals that interact highly with other animals, usually of their own species (conspecifics), to the point of having a rec...