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Prairie Dog Hunting

The prairie dog is a small rodent that is indigenous to the plains of North America. They grow to a size of between 14 and 18 inches. The prairie dog occupies land west of the mississippi, from Canada to the North, all the way to Mexico in the south. They are called prairie dogs because of the areas they live in, as well as the shrill sound they make, which sounds very similar to the barking of a small dog. They are herbivores, meaning they eat primarily grasses, roots, and leaves.

The prairie dogs live in large groups called "towns." Just one of these collectives of prairie dog families span hundreds of acres. The prairie dogs are very adept tunnelers, and build complex systems of tunnels that stretch 5 meters down and as long as 30 meters. These burrows have water traps, to carry water away from the living areas of the rodents, as well as several different escape routes.

The prairie dog has few predators that is is not able to handle. They have amazing eyesight, and can easily spot a predator from great distances. More than enough distance to give them plenty of time to issue a series of high pitched barks, warning the other families of prairie dogs in the colony that there is danger approaching, in the form of a predator. It is thought that the prairie dog has a system by which to discern what specific type of predator is approaching from the way the others are barking.

Despite the prairie dog's importance to the ecosystem, they are hunted heavily by farmers in the midwest, because they damage crops. They are considered a pest species, even though they are the major source of food for several endangered species.