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Happy Prairie Dog Day
Prairie Dog Pup

Sure – seems like everyone is celebrating Groundhog Day today – but at iTwixie, we are celebrating our friendship with prairie dogs and cheering for Prairie Dog Day!

Prairie Dogs are friends of iTwixie. We have been celebrating them for years! Why? Well, they are a social, cute keystone species, who many on the prairie see as a nuisance. But they really are the reason why other animals can thrive on the prairies. Without the prairie dogs, many animals would be in danger, along with a bunch of grasses and other plant life. We have been learning about the prairie dog for years, alongside the worldwide expert in prairie dogs, Dr. John Hoogland, and his team from the University of Maryland. We stand with the prairie dog!

So that’s why we cheer on our friends, the prairie dogs! Speak up! Their lives are in danger! So join in and let’s hear it for the groundhog’s cousin, the prairie dog, and celebrate Prairie Dog Day today!

Thank you, Denver Zoo, for thinking of this cool day! This is our 7th year celebrating with you!

Happy Prairie Dog Day!

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iTwixie Studies Prairie Dogs: Week Seventeen and Final Week

 

The prairie dog expert team uses stuffed badgers in a life-like pose, like the one below, to find out how prairie dogs react to badgers.

smiling_stuffed_badger_on_sled to show tweens study prop.
Photo Credit: Kathleen Eddy

 

Prairie dogs react the same way to both live and stuffed badgers! So this week the researchers will be conducting more experiments with this stuffed badger.

What do you want to know about badgers and prairie dogs?

If you have missed any of the prairie dog study, you may wish to go to Week 1 and work up or start at Week 16 and work back. Jot your questions down right now and we’ll answer them next week — it’ll be our last week of our study!

Researcher Notes:

  • Female prairie dogs with babies are most likely to give an alarm call when they see a badger. But many males also call. Least likely to call are females who did not have any babies.
  • As baby prairie dogs get bigger, they sometimes call as well.
  • We spotted a ring-billed gull this week.

Thanks, Dr. Hoogland, and your prairie dog expert team for sharing their pictures and videos with us!

Next week we’ll wrap up our study and give you some cool info on the prairie dog expert team and the professor who leads this study.

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