Friday, July 9, 2021

Gunnison's Prairie Dog

We've previously encountered the black-tailed prairie dog in several places, but while in New Mexico at the Valles Caldera we encountered a second species of prairie dog: Gunnison's prairie dog. There is a prairie dog town right next to the entrance station of Valles Caldera Natural Preserve at approximately 8,000 feet of elevation. 
This prairie dog is right next to the entrance station. 
Gunnison''s prairie dog has a "yellow-toned buff" coat with black hairs. The upper head, cheeks and eyebrows are darker than the rest of the body. The tail is mostly white with light gray tips. 
This youngster has the light gray tail visible. 

This one has the blackish head and cheek 
They are found in the four corners area in portions of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. However, 75% of them are found in Arizona and New Mexico at elevations of 6,000 to 8,000 feet. 
Gunnison's prairie dog range map from Wikipedia. 

1 comment:

  1. Cute little fellers. They look like they would make fun pets, but looks can be deceiving.