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NYC - Brooklyn - Prospect Park Zoo: Discovery Trail - Black Tailed Prairie Dogs

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NYC - Brooklyn - Prospect Park Zoo: Discovery Trail - Black Tailed Prairie Dogs
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Image by wallyg
The Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a small, burrowing rodent native to the Great Plains of North America. Prairie dogs are named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark. The 1804 journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition note that in September of 1804, they "discovered a Village of an animal the french Call the Prarie Dog." Its genus, Cynomys, derives from the Greek for "mouse dog."

Black-tailed Prairie Dogs are generally tan in color, with a lighter colored belly. Their tail has a black tip on it, which is where their name is derived from. On average, this stout bodied rodent will weigh 1.5-3 pounds with a body length 11-13" and a 3-4" tail. They have small ears, but keen hearing, and small, dark eyes, with good vision. Unlike some other prairie dogs, these animals do not truly hibernate.

The highly-social prairie dogs live in large colonies or "towns", spanning hundreds of acres with collections of families. Prairie dog tunnel systems, which descend vertically as much as 5 meters (16.5 feet) and extend laterally as much as 30 meters (32.5 yards), help channel rainwater into the water table to prevent runoff and erosion, and also can serve to change the composition of the soil in a region by reversing soil compaction that can be a result of cattle grazing.

Black-tailed prairie dogs are frequently exterminated from ranchland, being labelled as a pest. Their habitat has been fragmented, and their numbers have been greatly reduced. Studies in 1961 estimated only 364,000 acres of occupied black-tailed prairie dog habitat in the United States. A second study in 2000 showed 676,000 acres. However, a comprehensive study between 10 states and various tribes in 2004 estimated 1,842,000 acres in the United States, plus an additional 51,589 acres in Mexico and Canada. Based on the 2004 studies, the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed the black-tailed prairie dog from the Endangered Species Act Candidate Species List in August 2004.

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The Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn's only Zoo, is home to nearly 400 animals of more than 80 species. First established as a small menagerie in Prospect Park in the late 1800's, this collection of animals became the more formal Prospect Park Zoo on Flatbush Avenue that opened to the public on July 3, 1935. A Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, the Zoo was part of a massive city-wide park improvement program initiated and executed by former Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. Closed in 1988 for a five year, million dollar renovation program, the zoo was completely replaced save for the exteriors of the 1930's-era buildings. Rededicated on October 5, 1993, it joined Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) world-renowned network of wildlife parks in New York City.

The World of Animals in the southern quadrant of the zoo, features the Discovery Trail. The trail begins in the World of Animals building, but visitors quickly pass to an outdoor path that winds through the southern third of the zoo. Animals from diverse corners of the globe are shown in settings not unlike their natural habitats. Visitors may find along the trail Porcupines, Kangaroos, Red Pandas, and other animals. Signs often ask challenging questions, reinforcing presentations made in the Zoo's Discovery Center, or alert viewers to look for signs of animal habitation. Though it occupies a compact plot, The Discovery Trail has been carefully designed so that very little of the trail can be seen at one time, permitting visitors to concentrate on just the few exhibits at hand. The trail passes through marsh, open grassland, and wooded areas, featuring animals particular to each biota.


NYC - Brooklyn - Prospect Park Zoo: Discovery Trail - Black Tailed Prairie Dogs
names for animals
Image by wallyg
The Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a small, burrowing rodent native to the Great Plains of North America. Prairie dogs are named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark. The 1804 journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition note that in September of 1804, they "discovered a Village of an animal the french Call the Prarie Dog." Its genus, Cynomys, derives from the Greek for "mouse dog."

Black-tailed Prairie Dogs are generally tan in color, with a lighter colored belly. Their tail has a black tip on it, which is where their name is derived from. On average, this stout bodied rodent will weigh 1.5-3 pounds with a body length 11-13" and a 3-4" tail. They have small ears, but keen hearing, and small, dark eyes, with good vision. Unlike some other prairie dogs, these animals do not truly hibernate.

The highly-social prairie dogs live in large colonies or "towns", spanning hundreds of acres with collections of families. Prairie dog tunnel systems, which descend vertically as much as 5 meters (16.5 feet) and extend laterally as much as 30 meters (32.5 yards), help channel rainwater into the water table to prevent runoff and erosion, and also can serve to change the composition of the soil in a region by reversing soil compaction that can be a result of cattle grazing.

Black-tailed prairie dogs are frequently exterminated from ranchland, being labelled as a pest. Their habitat has been fragmented, and their numbers have been greatly reduced. Studies in 1961 estimated only 364,000 acres of occupied black-tailed prairie dog habitat in the United States. A second study in 2000 showed 676,000 acres. However, a comprehensive study between 10 states and various tribes in 2004 estimated 1,842,000 acres in the United States, plus an additional 51,589 acres in Mexico and Canada. Based on the 2004 studies, the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed the black-tailed prairie dog from the Endangered Species Act Candidate Species List in August 2004.

**
The Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn's only Zoo, is home to nearly 400 animals of more than 80 species. First established as a small menagerie in Prospect Park in the late 1800's, this collection of animals became the more formal Prospect Park Zoo on Flatbush Avenue that opened to the public on July 3, 1935. A Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, the Zoo was part of a massive city-wide park improvement program initiated and executed by former Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. Closed in 1988 for a five year, million dollar renovation program, the zoo was completely replaced save for the exteriors of the 1930's-era buildings. Rededicated on October 5, 1993, it joined Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) world-renowned network of wildlife parks in New York City.

The World of Animals in the southern quadrant of the zoo, features the Discovery Trail. The trail begins in the World of Animals building, but visitors quickly pass to an outdoor path that winds through the southern third of the zoo. Animals from diverse corners of the globe are shown in settings not unlike their natural habitats. Visitors may find along the trail Porcupines, Kangaroos, Red Pandas, and other animals. Signs often ask challenging questions, reinforcing presentations made in the Zoo's Discovery Center, or alert viewers to look for signs of animal habitation. Though it occupies a compact plot, The Discovery Trail has been carefully designed so that very little of the trail can be seen at one time, permitting visitors to concentrate on just the few exhibits at hand. The trail passes through marsh, open grassland, and wooded areas, featuring animals particular to each biota.


NYC - Brooklyn - Prospect Park Zoo: Discovery Trail - Black Tailed Prairie Dogs
names for animals
Image by wallyg
The Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a small, burrowing rodent native to the Great Plains of North America. Prairie dogs are named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark. The 1804 journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition note that in September of 1804, they "discovered a Village of an animal the french Call the Prarie Dog." Its genus, Cynomys, derives from the Greek for "mouse dog."

Black-tailed Prairie Dogs are generally tan in color, with a lighter colored belly. Their tail has a black tip on it, which is where their name is derived from. On average, this stout bodied rodent will weigh 1.5-3 pounds with a body length 11-13" and a 3-4" tail. They have small ears, but keen hearing, and small, dark eyes, with good vision. Unlike some other prairie dogs, these animals do not truly hibernate.

The highly-social prairie dogs live in large colonies or "towns", spanning hundreds of acres with collections of families. Prairie dog tunnel systems, which descend vertically as much as 5 meters (16.5 feet) and extend laterally as much as 30 meters (32.5 yards), help channel rainwater into the water table to prevent runoff and erosion, and also can serve to change the composition of the soil in a region by reversing soil compaction that can be a result of cattle grazing.

Black-tailed prairie dogs are frequently exterminated from ranchland, being labelled as a pest. Their habitat has been fragmented, and their numbers have been greatly reduced. Studies in 1961 estimated only 364,000 acres of occupied black-tailed prairie dog habitat in the United States. A second study in 2000 showed 676,000 acres. However, a comprehensive study between 10 states and various tribes in 2004 estimated 1,842,000 acres in the United States, plus an additional 51,589 acres in Mexico and Canada. Based on the 2004 studies, the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed the black-tailed prairie dog from the Endangered Species Act Candidate Species List in August 2004.

**
The Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn's only Zoo, is home to nearly 400 animals of more than 80 species. First established as a small menagerie in Prospect Park in the late 1800's, this collection of animals became the more formal Prospect Park Zoo on Flatbush Avenue that opened to the public on July 3, 1935. A Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, the Zoo was part of a massive city-wide park improvement program initiated and executed by former Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. Closed in 1988 for a five year, million dollar renovation program, the zoo was completely replaced save for the exteriors of the 1930's-era buildings. Rededicated on October 5, 1993, it joined Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) world-renowned network of wildlife parks in New York City.

The World of Animals in the southern quadrant of the zoo, features the Discovery Trail. The trail begins in the World of Animals building, but visitors quickly pass to an outdoor path that winds through the southern third of the zoo. Animals from diverse corners of the globe are shown in settings not unlike their natural habitats. Visitors may find along the trail Porcupines, Kangaroos, Red Pandas, and other animals. Signs often ask challenging questions, reinforcing presentations made in the Zoo's Discovery Center, or alert viewers to look for signs of animal habitation. Though it occupies a compact plot, The Discovery Trail has been carefully designed so that very little of the trail can be seen at one time, permitting visitors to concentrate on just the few exhibits at hand. The trail passes through marsh, open grassland, and wooded areas, featuring animals particular to each biota.

 
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