Author: admin, 16.01.2014Prairie Dogs are mostly herbivorous burrowing rodents that are native to the grasslands of North America. Prairie dogs are named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark. Highly social, Prairie Dogs live in large colonies called “towns” and in collections of families that can span hundreds of acres. The Prairie Dog’s existence on the Great Plains is also valuable to the Burrowing Owl, who relies on Prairie Dog burrows for nesting.
ZooAmerica in Hershey, Pennsylvania is now home to 11 baby Black-tailed Prairie Dogs. In the wild these rodents live on North America's prairies and open grasslands in only a fraction of their former numbers, in underground burrows. Much of the Great Plains has been converted to farmland or pastures where Prairie Dogs are not welcome. At Phoenix Zoo last week, visitor dmguz caught this peek at a baby Prairie Dog nibbling away on some greens.
Prairie dogs emerge from their burrows in daylight to forage and feed on grasses, roots, and seeds. These charismatic, rabbit-size rodents live on North America's prairies and open grasslands in only a fraction of their former numbers.Prairie dogs live in underground burrows, extensive warrens of tunnels and chambers marked by many mounds of packed earth at their surface entrances.
A Prairie Dog town may contain 15 to 26 family groups, made up of a series of burrows with mounded entrances. They are included in the primary diet of other prairie species, such as: Black-Footed Ferret, Swift Fox, Golden Eagle, American Badger and Ferruginous Hawk. Highly social animals, prairie dogs frequently visit one another and greet by rubbing snouts, which people compare to a kiss.
As captive pets, it is essential to feed a diet that approximates what they eat in the wild in order to prevent dietary-related diseases such as obesity, malnutrition, and gastrointestinal disorders, which are among the more common health disorders in captive prairie dogs. In Mexico, Prairie Dogs are found primarily in the northern states, which lie at the southern end of the Great Plains of the United States. The 1804 journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition note that in September 1804, they “discovered a Village of an animal the French Call the Prairie Dog”. Where at one time they were arguably the most abundant mannal in North AMerica, about 98% of all Prairie Dogs were exterminated, while their range has shrunken to about 5 %. According to the San Diego Zoo, when a female Prairie Dog is ready to give birth, she goes to the nursery burrow. In the United States, the Prairie Dog’s range is primarily to the west of the Mississippi river, though they have been introduced in a few eastern locales. Burrows may be shared by snakes, burrowing owls, and even rare black-footed ferrets, which hunt prairie dogs in their own dwellings.Family groups (a male, a few females, and their young) inhabit burrows and cooperate to share food, chase off other prairie dogs, and groom one another.
At about one year of age, the young Prairie Dog may leave to start a new coterie by taking over abandoned tunnels or by digging new ones.
Young pups are very playful and can often been seen romping near their burrows.Black-tailed prairie dogs, the best known of the five prairie dog species, live in larger communities called towns, which may contain many hundreds of animals.
The largest recorded prairie dog town covered some 25,000 square miles (65,000 square kilometers). That Texas town was home to perhaps four hundred million prairie dogs.Another prairie dog species, the white-tailed prairie dog, lives in the western mountains.
To avoid obesity, dental disease, and fatty liver disease AVOID dog and cat food, nuts, raisins, animal protein, additional carbohydrates, and table scraps. A second, "all-clear" call alerts the community when the danger has passed.Much of the Great Plains has been converted to farming or pastureland, and prairie dogs are not often welcome in such places.
During the 20th century, about 98 percent of all prairie dogs were exterminated, and their range has shrunk to perhaps five percent of its historic spread.
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