Prairie dogs are small, stout ground squirrels. The total length of an adult black-tailed prairie dog is approximately 14-17 inches. The weight of an individual ranges from 1 to 3 pounds. Individual appearances within the species vary in mixed colors of brown, black, gray, and white. The black-tipped tail is characteristic (Hoogland 1995). Black-tailed prairie dogs are diurnal, burrowing animals. They do not hibernate as do white-tailed, Gunnison, and Utah prairie dogs (Hoogland 1995, Tileston and Lechleitner 1966). The black-footed ferret, swift fox , mountain plover, ferruginous hawk, burrowing owl , and number other species are dependent upon prairie dogs to varying degrees.
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