I had never seen a prairie dog until visiting Colorado in 2010. It was love at first sight. No joke. At the time I had no idea they were such a controversial animal. A lot of this controversy is due to lack of education and just pure ignorance. I hope through time and education people will come to understand the importance of prairie dogs in the prairie ecosystem.
“Prairie dogs are considered a “keystone” species because their colonies create islands of habitats that benefit approximately 150 other species. They are also a food source for many animals, including coyotes, eagles, badgers and critically endangered black-footed ferrets. Many species, like black-footed ferrets, burrowing owls, and tiger salamanders, use their burrows as homes. Prairie dogs even help aerate and fertilize the soil, allowing a greater diversity of plants to thrive.”*
Check out the Prairie Dog Coalition’s website for ways you can volunteer or donate! For more information on prairie dogs, visit: http://www.humanesociety.org/about/departments/prairie_dog_coalition/index.html
*excerpts from Defenders of Wildlife http://www.defenders.org/prairie-dog/basic-facts