Prairie Dog

Our Prairie Dog, found at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon MA

Where to find the Prairie Dog (besides Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, MA!)
Prairie Dog Facts
Prairie Dog
Cynomys ludovicianus

Life Span
Wild: 3-4 years
Captivity: 8 years
14-17 inches
Average Weight
1.5-3 lbs
Group Name
Town or Colony
Group Size
Name of Young

Our Prairie Dog, found at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon MAFacts

  • Prairie dogs are members of the squirrel family. They live in prairies and grasslands and are well known for their expansive burrows. Different chambers in their burrows serve different purposes such as nurseries for pups, sleeping, and food storage.
  • They communicate through many noises. They bark, yip, chatter, and make many other vocalizations. They have different noises to alert others of different types of predators. A sentinel keeps watch for dangers.
  • In the wild, prairie dogs only occupy about 2% of their original range. This is due to introduced diseases, loss of habitat due to agriculture, and from extermination when they are viewed as pests. Some regions have placed restrictions in order to help save the few remaining populations.
  • Prairie dogs mainly eat grasses, and they get all of the water they need from the plants they consume.

Did You Know?

Prairie dog towns or colonies contain a number of connecting tunnels and chambers. Towns are often made up of several family groups called coteries. The largest prairie dog town was 100 miles by 250 miles and was home to over 400 million.