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Prairie Dog Predator Challenge

All three of the predators are dangerous to prairie dogs. But which one of them is the most dangerous? That was last week’s Prairie Dog Predator challenge. Did you take it?

Here is the answer!

According to the Prairie Dog Squad, here are the number of captures or successful attacks for each of these dangerous predators so far this year, at Dr. John Hoogland’s research site in New Mexico. See if you were right about which of these predators is the most dangerous:

1) The Bobcat captured 3 prairie dogs


2) The Golden Eagle captured 11 prairie dogs


3) The Coyote captured 18 prairie dogs

DSC_0352 4

Wow! The COYOTE is the most dangerous predator this year! Were you right? Are you surprised?


(Photo Credits: Paul and Jill, goingslo, jack_spellingbacon, victoria burman)

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Prairie Dog Predator Challenge

The Prairie Dog Squad knows that these 3 predators attack prairie dogs.


1) The Bobcat



2) The Golden Eagle



3) The Coyote


Your Challenge is to tell iTwixie which predator you think is the most DANGEROUS to the prairie dog.

All you have to do to take this Challenge is to write which predator you think is the most dangerous in the comment section below. Everyone who enters a name will win the Prairie Dog Challenge Award! So how do you think you can figure this out? What makes a predator most dangerous? Do you think it has to do with how many times it attacks the prairie dog town? Or how many prairie dogs it attacks? Hmmm…

Be sure to stay tuned because in July, the Prairie Dog Squad, led by Dr. John Hoogland, will let us know which predator was the most dangerous and why. Which one do you think it will be? Get your challenge answer in now!

(Photo Credits: Paul and Jill, goingslo, jack_spellingbacon, ZionNPS)

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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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