Prairie Dog Towns

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Prairie dogs live in connected underground burrows called “towns,” which have been known to cover up to 1,000 acres of land!

These colonies are divided into social groups usually consisting of one male, up to four females, and offspring less than two years of age.

Pat Bales, San Angelo State Park Assistant Superintendent, says the animals are active only in daylight hours.

They’re most active during the cool hours of the day, during that time they’ll engage in the social activities- visiting, grooming, as well as feeding of grasses and herbs. And normally whenever they are out feeding like that, they’ll have a sentry and they’ll have a lookout.

And their mounds are built up high. They’re kind of unique little engineers. They’ll build one mound, end of their mound higher than the other, and an out hole. The reason they do that: it creates a high pressure/low pressure situation which enables air to continuously flow through there.

And down in the burrow itself, they’ll have little compartments where they can sleep, where they can feed.

Prairie dogs were indigenous to the San Angelo area, but various factors drastically reduced their population. But thanks to dedicated dog lovers – they’re back.

Actually, we have 2 towns- we’ve established one on the north side and south side of the park.

And you’re invited to take a Prairie Dog Tour at San Angelo SP on Saturday, August 4th. The program is free with park entrance fee. Find details at

That’s our show for today…with research and writing help from Loren Seeger…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti


August 4, 2007 — San Angelo SP — Prairie Dog Tour — Prairie Dogs once numbered in the tens of millions and ranged throughout the entire plains regions of the central United States. Park interpreter will guide you to a Prairie Dog town, interpret facts and tell the story of these little engineering marvels who had a symbiotic relationship with other animals and helped shape the landscape of the Great Plains. Meet at the South Shore Gatehouse. 10-11:30 a.m. (325) 949-4757.

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