The Gunnison’s Prairie Dog

These critters that look something like a giant gerbil have been residents of TBN Ranch long before it had a name. When we moved here the property was vacant, and obviously long enough for the Prairie Dog to establish a colony in the backyard.  It was a concern at first, and an eye sore as well, there were holes and tunnels stretching over a 100 x 80 foot area. But, there were bigger priorities than addressing these unwanted guests in the yard, and it turned out being one of those problems that fixed itself.

Having dogs in the yard made it unsuitable living for the Prairie Dogs and they moved to the front 1/4 acre. It backs up to 15 acres of barren desert land, where once again nature stepped in making it semi habitable. This stretch of land is home sweet home to another predator, the coyote.

After much research on the Prairie Dog, I found there are five species. Although I would rather not have these rodent creatures at all, at least I find it satisfying to know my Prairie Dogs are special. They are Gunnison’s Prairie Dogs, a species that’s at risk of extinction. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service must decide by 2016  whether to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.

The Prairie Dog is cute, social, and fun to watch. They run and play with each other, then rest in the shade under my Prickly Pear cactus.

As long as they continue to not present any problems, they’re welcome to live here. We don’t feed any wildlife here, but there’s a water source available to all animals that call TBN Ranch their home.

This morning I found a dead Prairie Dog in a water bucket who must have fallen in and drowned… I was sad.


About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author, antique dealer. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm.
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11 Responses to The Gunnison’s Prairie Dog

  1. So, that’s what their called! We see them all over the mountain preserve/park by our house. I brake for them all the time while heading down the frontage road. They are adorable!

  2. Pingback: Jon Embree The Gunnison's Prairie Dog | TBN Ranch | Jon Embree

  3. I have grown to appreciate Gods little ones whether they be rabbits, squirrels or raccoons. They all have their place and each are very social and are fun to watch.

  4. jackscrap says:

    I don’t like the praire dog’s chance of survival if sharing with coyotes, but maybe they’re quick enough to pop down a tunnel and escape, let’s hope so.

    • tbnranch says:

      True, but unfortunately they will have predators where ever they go. Not only on the ground, but from overhead. Hawks especially.

  5. bulldog says:

    Very similar in looks and behaviour to our ground squirrels…

  6. Jo Bryant says:

    They are so cute…it is lovely that they are at home there and that you are letting them say around

    • tbnranch says:

      I have a feeling I have no choice! Doubt if they would be easy to get rid of, and if I tried it probably would be spendy. ha ha! Better that we just all try to get along.

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