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iTwixie Studies Prairie Dogs: Week Three
March 18, 2010
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Just click on these links to read all about what’s been happening so far in Week One and Week Two!

Week Three: Catch Those Prairie Dogs!

Sounds easy, right? But it’s not! You never know when these cute little guys are going to climb out of their burrows. So the Prairie Dog Expert Team must watch patiently and be constantly ready to jump at the chance to go and catch ‘em! Here’s how the researchers do it:

1.  The Prairie Dog Expert Team consists of 5 researchers. Each researcher has her or his own observation tower. Cool tower, right?

Prairie_dog_research_tower
Photo Credit: Erica van Manen

2.  Each researcher is responsible for all activity within view from her or his tower.  Specifically, they are:

  • watching for new prairie dogs
  • locating the nearest burrow to each prairie dog as they emerge, and
  • setting traps to catch each and every one that comes above ground after waking up from hibernation.

Prairie_dog_in_surrounding_of_traps
Photo Credit: Erica van Manen

Researcher Notes:

  1. 8 male prairie dogs have been caught and marked!
  1. 12 more prairie dogs have been sighted and so the researchers keep watching them.
  1. The researchers say that soon there will be female prairie dogs coming above ground. How soon?
  1. More birds have been identified: Canadian goose, American crow, and red-winged blackbird.

It’s a ton of work! But the Prairie Dog Expert Team loves it. And they’d love to answer ANY questions you have!  So, iTwixie girls, what are YOU curious about when it comes to prairie dogs, the prairie, Colorado or conducting research? Just jot your questions right here!

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