A black-tailed prairie dog sitting on rock

Black-tailed prairie dog

Black-tailed prairie dogs are burrowing rodents that live on the North American grassy plains and prairies in a range that stretches from Canada to Mexico. Despite habitat loss and vilification by ranchers, these are still the most common and widespread of the prairie dogs. A very important prey species, their enormous colonies are attractive to predators looking for an easy meal. However, with constant look-outs posted on mounds these little creatures aren't easy to catch unawares. Black-tailed prairie dogs don't hibernate during the cold winter weather, unlike most other prairie dog species.

Scientific name: Cynomys ludovicianus

Rank: Species

Common names:

Arizona black-tailed prairie dog

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Map showing the distribution of the Black-tailed prairie dog taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Black-tailed prairie dog can be found in a number of locations including: North America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Black-tailed prairie dog distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Temperate grassland Temperate grassland
Temperate grasslands include the prairies of North America, the steppes of Russia and the pampas of Argentina. Summers here are mild to hot and the winters can sometimes be very cold – for instance, blizzards can blanket the great plains of the United States.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1