Prairie Dog Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Prairie Dog

Scientific Name:


Wild Status:

Least Concern




Countries in North America



Life Span:

4 years


12-15 inches

Cool Facts:

  • Covered with brown fur all over their bodies.
  • Very small black paws, with sharp nails.
  • Can weigh up to 4 pounds when fully grown.
  • Diurnal (opposite of nocturnal)
  • They live in groups called "towns"
  • Due to their social nature and affectionate personality they have become fairly popular
  • By varying the frequency and pitch of their barks, they can provide detailed descriptions of other predators to each other.


Prairie Dogs are actually not dogs at all! They are small rodents found across North America, and live in groups in general grassland & desert areas. The Prairie Dog is mainly an herbivore, eating grasses, roots, seeds, and more, but they have also been known to eat insects from time to time. They live in a complex network of tunnels, all with rooms for sleeping, storing food, and a community just like humans! They are often considered a "keystone" species because the colonies and burrows they create can benefit many other species in the environment. They are also preyed upon by many animals, such as badgers, coyotes, eagles, and more.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Rodentia Family: Sciuridae Genus: Marmotini Species: Cynomys

Conservation & Helping:

Prairie Dogs are considered least concern on the endangered species list, and their global population is believed to be somewhere in the millions.

For Teachers and Educators


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