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,
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.