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There is debate over whether the alarm calling of prairie dogs is selfish or altruistic. It is possible that prairie dogs alert others to the presence of a predator so they can protect themselves. However, it is also possible that the calls are meant to cause confusion and panic in the groups and cause the others to be more conspicuous to the predator than the caller.

In addition, the caller may be trying to make itself more noticeable to the predator. Perhaps the most striking of prairie dog communications is the territorial call or "jump-yip" display of the black-tailed prairie dog.

A jump-yip from one prairie dog causes others nearby to do the same. Ecologists consider this rodent to be a keystone species.

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They are an important prey species, being the primary diet in prairie species such as the black-footed ferret , swift fox , golden eagle , red tailed hawk , American badger , coyote and ferruginous hawk. Other species, such as the golden-mantled ground squirrel , mountain plover , and the burrowing owl , also rely on prairie dog burrows for nesting areas.

Even grazing species, such as plains bison , pronghorn , and mule deer have shown a proclivity for grazing on the same land used by prairie dogs. Nevertheless, prairie dogs are often identified as pests and exterminated from agricultural properties because they are capable of damaging crops, as they clear the immediate area around their burrows of most vegetation.

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As a result, prairie dog habitat has been affected by direct removal by farmers, as well as the more obvious encroachment of urban development, which has greatly reduced their populations. The removal of prairie dogs "causes undesirable spread of brush", the costs of which to livestock range may outweigh the benefits of removal. One common concern which led to the widespread extermination of prairie dog colonies was that their digging activities could injure horses [24] by fracturing their limbs.

However, according to writer Fred Durso, Jr. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to distribute an oral vaccine it had developed by unmanned aircraft or drones. Until , primarily black-tailed prairie dogs were collected from the wild for the exotic pet trade in Canada, the United States, Japan, and Europe. They were removed from their underground burrows each spring, as young pups, with a large vacuum device. Removing them from the wild was a far more common method of supplying the market demand.

They can be difficult pets to care for, requiring regular attention and a very specific diet of grasses and hay. Each year, they go into a period called rut that can last for several months, in which their personalities can drastically change, often becoming defensive or even aggressive. Despite their needs, prairie dogs are very social animals and come to seem as though they treat humans as members of their colony, answering barks and chirps, and even coming when called by name.


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In mid, due to cross-contamination at a Madison , Wisconsin -area pet swap from an unquarantined Gambian pouched rat imported from Ghana , several prairie dogs in captivity acquired monkeypox , and subsequently a few humans were also infected. The European Union also banned importation of prairie dogs in response. All Cynomys species are classed as a "prohibited new organism" under New Zealand's Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act , preventing it from being imported into the country.

Prairie dogs are also very susceptible to bubonic plague , and many wild colonies have been wiped out by it. Prairie dogs that were in captivity at the time of the ban in were allowed to be kept under a grandfather clause , but were not to be bought, traded, or sold, and transport was permitted only to and from a veterinarian under quarantine procedures. The European Union has not lifted its ban on imports from the U. Prairie dogs in captivity may live up to ten years.

In companies that use large numbers of cubicles in a common space, employees sometimes use the term "prairie dogging" to refer to the action of several people simultaneously looking over the walls of their cubicles in response to a noise or other distraction. This action is thought to resemble the startled response of a group of prairie dogs.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the animal. For other uses, see Prairie dog disambiguation.

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Temporal range: Late Pliocene - Holocene. Play media. Defenders of Wildlife. Retrieved 18 February Archived from the original on 1 February Retrieved 9 February North American Fauna.

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Journal of Mammalogy. Retrieved 26 March New Scientist. The American Naturalist. Beckoff, C.

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Allen, and G. Burghardt eds Cambridge: A Bradford Book. Slobodchikoff; Bianca S. Perla; Jennifer L. Verdolin Harvard University Press. Mammalian Species. Prairie Dog Coalition. Retrieved on Animal Behaviour. Retrieved 18 April In the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the Sun. Thus, the term Dog Days of Summer came to mean the 20 days before and 20 days after this alignment of Sirius with the Sun—July 3 to Aug. This means longer, hotter days. So what does it mean for you?


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Drink This! Our vintage-style Rooster Thermometer is a great addition to your patio, garden, barn, or garage. A great gift for the weather enthusiast! I was raised to know the dog days were a time when sores would not heal fast. Old wives tales were ground into us. Hi Amy, thanks for your note. You should have surgery any time your doctor recommends.

Found this article because I was checking dog days dates. I just heard my first mockingbird in several weeks so knew it must be over. Connie Mack, are you in North Florida? I see you just heard them too. Can anyone help point me to the reason why mockingbirds stop singing during dog days? The singing stops!

Alerting their young with peeps,and warding off predators with a screech,is all we hear. The singing has started back today! This singing stops for what many call dog days! I always heard and was told if you had a sore or cut to let a dog lick it and it would heal faster! Never tried it!?

Dog days - Wikipedia

What exactly does dog days have to do with creek swimming? The heat touches my shouldersand chest, a blessing. His would be no easier for them, the rolling r of Roussouwsomething only the Welsh would be able to attempt. His compliment surprises me. I wonder if it will hang over his waistband when he stands up.

Why Are They Called The “Dog Days” of Summer?

He knows where to go. I sometimes search stock-photo libraries for the pictures my father takes — of steaming bowls of pasta and sauce, moist slabs of cake. I want to ask how his slathering shoe polish onto raw meat and frosting grapes with hairspray qualifies him to judge, but I know better, even after so many years.

But my voice wavers with the heat that has come to my face nonetheless.