Common Name
UTAH PRAIRIE-DOG

Scientific Name
CYNOMYS PARVIDENS

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Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Photo Copyright Lynn Chamberlain

The Utah prairie-dog, Cynomys parvidens, is one of three prairie-dog species found in Utah, occurring in the southwestern part of the state. Interestingly, the species is not found anywhere else in the world, making it the only non-fish vertebrate endemic to (found only in) Utah. The Utah prairie-dog is so rare that is has been Federally listed as a threatened species.

Similar to other prairie-dogs, Utah 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 late May or early June. The Utah prairie-dog's diet is composed of flowers, seeds, grasses, leaves, and even insects. Major threats to the species include habitat loss (through development and drought), poisoning, and the plague.

Sources:

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

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