BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG (Cynomys lodovicianus)
These are diurnal (active during the day) rodents that range in size from about 12-1/2 inches to 18 inches in length including the tail, and a body weight that ranges between 1-1/2 to just over 3 pounds. The guard hair of the prairie dog is agouti (banded with light and dark colors), with the coat having a gray or reddish cast. The belly is lighter, shading to white in some places. The tail has a black tip.
These animals live in social groups called coteries. A collection of coteries is referred to as a prairie dog town, and may cover as much as 160 acres. The interconnected burrows of a prairie dog town give the animals a place of refuge and a place to rear their young. The entrance to the burrows is surrounded by a characteristic crater-like mound of dirt.