Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Mark Chapman
Photo Copyright Mark Chapman

Gunnison's prairie dog, Cynomys gunnisoni, is one of three prairie-dog species found in Utah, occurring in the southeastern part of the state. The species is also found in parts of Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Similar to other prairie dogs, Gunnison's prairie dogs form colonies and spend much of their time in underground burrows, often hibernating during the winter. The species breeds in the spring, and young can be seen above ground in early June. The diet of the Gunnison's prairie dog is composed primarily of grasses, shrubs, and forbs. Major threats to the species include habitat loss, poisoning, and the plague.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.