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Facts about prairie dogs in the desert,how to get your dog to stop chewing things up,golden retriever puppies mn - Good Point

Category: Best Food For Dog | Author: admin 30.04.2015
Throughout most of the western United States from Canada to Mexico -- Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming -- including higher elevations of the Mojave, Great Basin and Chihuahuan deserts. Prairie dogs are the most social members of the squirrel family and are closely related to ground squirrels, chipmunks and marmots. Prairie dog tails are generally short and bushy, but vary considerably in length and color between species.
Prairie dogs' eyes, which are positioned on the sides of the head, appear to be adapted for detecting movement over a wide arc; this allows the detection of predators with greater success. Prairie dogs have an intricate social system composed of one male and several close-kin females and their offspring. These tunnels lead down a steeply slanting corridor 15 or 16 feet before leveling off for another 20 to 50 feet. When a predator approaches, the first alert prairie dog gives a sharp warning call, bobs up and down in excitement, calls again and then plunges below. Although prairie dogs are almost exclusively vegetarian, nursing females have been observed both cannibalizing and communally nursing each other's pups. Prairie dogs issue different sounds identifying various predators, which include hawks, owls, eagles, ravens, coyotes, badgers, ferrets and snakes. At the turn of the century, as many as 5 billion prairie dogs occupied millions of acres of grass prairies across the West. In 1900, a huge prairie dog settlement, 100 miles by 250 miles, was reported on the high plains of Texas containing an estimated 400 million prairie dogs!
For the black-tailed, mating generally occurs in late January, with the young being born in March and April (a gestation period of 28 to 32 days). During May and the early part of June, the young begin to emerge from their burrows for the first time. Common predators of the prairie dog include coyotes, bobcats, eagles, hawks, badgers and weasels.
Because they eat as much as 7 percent of a ranch's forage, prairie dog eradication programs have been underway for decades in the American West.


Today, after decades of eradication by federal, state, and local governments, devastation from disease, poisoning, recreational shooting and habitat destruction, prairie dogs are rapidly disappearing. Prairie dogs are very susceptible to bubonic plague, acquiring it from fleas infected with plague bacteria.
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Recent studies suggest that prairie dogs possess the most sophisticated of all natural animal languages. While most may be dormant for short periods of cold weather, the white-tailed species is a true hibernator in winter. There is a well-constructed and frequently reinforced dike against flooding from sudden rains. There are side chambers for storage, for nesting and for escape should the tunnel be invaded by predators or flooding. The various native plants of the Great Plains make up the prairie dog's primary diet, comprising all kinds of grasses, roots, weeds, forbs and blossoms. During a 4- or 5- hour estrus, a female prairie dog may mate with as many as 5 different males, allowing pups from the same litter to have different fathers.
At this time, yearlings (young from the previous year) and some adults may relocate, leaving the young pups to feel secure both socially and environmentally in the old burrow. But a growing number of experts argue that prairie dogs may actually be beneficial, that they are natural fertilizers who also increase the protein content and digestibility of rangeland grasses. More have been exterminated than remain, inhabiting only about 2 percent of their former range.
Most public health officials believe the chance of contracting plague from prairie dog fleas is very low, but flea-borne disease can wipe out a colony. The female black widow spider is the most venomous spider in North America, but it seldom causes death to humans, because it only injects a very small amount of poison when it bites.


It is uniquely colored and centers around the Four Corners area at elevations from 5000-11000 feet.
Black-tailed are the prairie dogs normally sold in pet shops and may either be a baby caught in the wild or from a breeder. They apparently issue different sounds identifying various predators, which include hawks, owls, eagles, ravens, coyotes, badgers, ferrets and snakes.
Other sentinels farther from the danger zone take up the watch, monitoring the course of the predator.
These youngsters hibernate with their parents October through March in the north and in high mountain valleys. When prairie dogs relocate, they take over abandoned holes or dig new holes at the edge of the town.
Colonies are being preserved, however, in Wind Cave National Park, Devils Tower National Monument and in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Reserve. Prairie dogs have whitish or buffy patches on the sides of their nose, their upper lips and around their eyes in the form of a ring.
A few may travel miles in search of new areas, but once away form the communal warning system, most are easy prey for predators. The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico maintains a municipal park with a resident colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs.
The prairie dog has only one defense that works -- raising the alarm and disappearing quickly.



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