Prairie Dogs At Southwick

I love little critters like Prairie Dogs. They’re an important species in the scheme of things as they are prey for many others. I suppose that’s why they are such a prolific species that reproduces in large quantities.

Prairie dogs (genus Cynomys) are herbivorous burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. The five species are: black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison’s, Utah, and Mexican prairie dogs. They are a type of ground squirrel, found in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In Mexico, prairie dogs are found primarily in the northern states, which lie at the southern end of the Great Plains: northeastern Sonora, north and northeastern Chihuahua, northern Coahuila, northern Nuevo León, and northern Tamaulipas. In the United States, they range primarily to the west of the Mississippi River, though they have also been introduced in a few eastern locales. Despite the name, they are not canines.

The Southwick Zoo has a community of prairie dogs living underground in a tiny community of their own making. They managed to fence in the area for visitor to watch them living out their lives in relative safety but I’d be curious to know what happens in the severe winters of New England. It’s a point of curiosity I’ll need check inquire about with the staff at Southwick. In the meantime enjoy a few pictures of our furry friends.

Prairie Dog 04

Prairie Dog 05

 

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