The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog, scientific name: Cynomys ludovicianus is a member of the squirrel family. They live in plains and grasslands in Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog stands an average height of 12″ (when standing up on their hind legs). Like its cousin the White-Tailed Prairie Dog, the Black-Tailed lives in small family groups called coterie that make up a much larger prairie dog community. A coterie generally consists of one male, one to four females and their young. Family members are very protective of one another and are also very close. Family units generally all contribute to the building of burrows and foraging for food. As families branch, the coterie of Prairie dogs generally live near other coterie and this makes a Prairie Dog “town”.
Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs are herbivores and eat roots, grasses, wild flowers and other grassland vegetation. The diet of a prairie dog is very vital because it is their primary source of water too. Family units and members of the “town community” all depend on one another for protection from predators while community members are foraging and use a system of vocal alerts to communicate.