Black-tailed Prairie Dogs at Diergaarde Blijdorp, Rotterdam (Holland)
Black-tailed Prairie Dogs occupy the Great Plains of the United States, including portions of several Western and Midwestern states.
Their preferred habitat is short-grass and mixed-grass prairies and desert grasslands. Prairie dog habitats are referred to as towns. Closely related to the ground squirrel, the Black-tailed Prairie Dog is generally tan in colour with a lighter chest and neck. It has a long body, small front paws with long claws, and a short, black-tipped tail from which it's name is derived. Black-tailed Prairie Dogs are extremely vocal and have a sophisticated communication system. They have a variety of call sounds, including one that resembles a dog's bark. Calls are used to warn others of an impending threat and spread quickly through a town in hopes of scaring off predators.