Archive for November 17th, 2011

Black-tailed Prairie Dogs

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

08—(AMB: prairie dogs calling”)

The lonesome, high-pitched staccato vocalization of the black-tailed prairie dog resonates throughout the Panhandle Plains.

09—Prairie dogs are a keystone species. A keystone species is a species that needs to be there for other species to survive.

Marsha May coordinates Texas Nature Tracker programs for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Once numbering in the millions, prairie dog colonies in Texas currently occupy less than 1-percent of their historic range. And their decline does not bode well for the other species that depend on them.

19—Prairie dog’s colonies are used by up to 170 other animals. They are directly or indirectly dependent upon the colony. And they aerate the soil; they actually keep the prairie a prairie. They will chew down any shrubs that are within the colony. So, they’re very important for that ecosystem.

Texas Black-tailed Prairie Dog Watch is a program designed to involve citizens to collect data about prairie dog colonies. Researchers use the information to understand the species’ dramatic decline. To help you help them, there’s a monitoring packet available.

08—We created this because we need to find out what’s going on with prairie dog colonies throughout the state of Texas; mainly the Panhandle and West Texas where they’re found.

And we’ll tell you how you can get involved tomorrow.

That’s our show for to day… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.