Mammal Species of the World
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- Original description: Allen, J.A., 1905. Mammals from Beaver County, Utah. Collected by the museum expedition of 1904, p. 119. Bulletin of the Museum of Science, Brooklyn Institute of the Arts and Science, 1:117-122.
North America - Southwest area of Utah. There are three main concentration of colonies: Awapa Plateau, East Fork and the main stem of the Sevier River and eastern Iron County. Cynomys parvidens is the westernmost member of the genus Cynomys .
(US Fish and Wildlife Service 1991).
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )
endemic to a single state or province
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: (1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)) The range is restricted to an area of about 1,850 square kilometers in southern Utah. Prior to control programs, the range reportedly extended from Pine and Buckskin valleys in Beaver and Iron counties (perhaps west to Modena in Iron County), north to at least Salina Canyon and near Gunnison in Sevier County (possibly to Nephi), south to Bryce Canyon National Park, and east to the foothills of the Aquarius Plateau (Collier 1974, Pizzimenti and Collier 1975, McDonald 1997). More recently, this species occurred in substantial populations in only three areas: the Awapa Plateau, along the east fork of the Sevier River, and in eastern Iron County; the grass and Sevier river valleys, plus three small, widely separated mountain valleys have small populations (Collier 1974, Pizzimenti and Collier 1975). The species is scarce or absent in the Aquarius Plateau, Fremont and Paria valleys, and Salina Canyon (Collier 1974, Pizzimenti and Collier 1975).
Utah prairie dogs are the smallest of all prairie dogs. The back is cinnamon in color and the tail is almost all white. The belly is also cinnamon but brighter than the back. The upper lip and chin are white and there are dark brown spots above and below the eyes. Females have five pairs of mammae. The first upper premolar is more strongly developed than in other Cynomys species and almost equal in size to the second premolar. Total length of the body is 305 to 360 mm. The tail length is 30 to 60 mm and the hind foot is 55 to 66 mm long. The ears are 12 to 16 mm long. (Parker 1990, US Fish and Wildlife Service 1991).
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Length: 39 cm
Size in North America
Average: 341 mm males; 319.7 mm females
Range: 299-370 mm males; 290-368 mm females
Average: 636 g males; 516 g females
Range: 460-1,250 g males; 410-790 g females
Dorsal pelage of Cynomys leucurus is pinkish buff mixed with buff; Cynomys gunnisoni has grayish hairs in center of tail; C. ludovicianus has a black-tipped tail (Whitaker 1996).
Great Basin Shrub Steppe Habitat
The Great Basin shrub steppe is one of the ecoregions inhabited by the Utah prairie dog. The Great Basin shrub steppe ecoregion is situated in the most northerly of the four American deserts. Unlike the other three, which have almost exclusive ties to warm-temperate and tropical/subtropical vegetation types, the Great Basin has affinities with cold-temperate vegetation.
Dominant plant species in the region include such distinctly cold-temperate species as sagebrushes (Artemisia), saltbrushes (Atriplex), and Winter-fat (Ceratoides lanata). These scrub species are much-branched, non-sprouting, aromatic semi-shrubs with soft wood and evergreen leaves. The Great Basin also contains species with evolutionary ties to warmer climates, such as rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus), blackbrush (Coleogyne), hopsage (grayia) and horsebrush (Tetradymia). The region, however, contains few cacti species, either in numbers of individuals or species, and also lacks most characteristic desert plants in minor drainages.
Some other notable mammals found in the Great Basin ecoregion are: Belding's ground squirrel (Spermophilus beldingi); Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris); Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis); Bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea); Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis); Canyon mouse (Peromyscus crinitus); Cliff chipmunk (Tamias dorsalis); Coyote (Canis latrans); Desert cottontail (Crotaphytus insularis); North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum).
Anuran taxa found in the Great Basin scrub steppe are eight in number: the Black toad (Anaxyrus exsul VU); Great Basin spadefoot toad (Spea intermontana); Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens); Pacific treefrog (Pseudacris regilla); Northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora); Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris); Southwestern toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus); and Woodhouse's toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii). The Tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinis) is the sole salamander found in this ecoregion.
The Great Basin holds numerous reptilian taxa: Bluntnose leopard lizard (Gambelia sila EN); Common kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula); Sierra gartersnake (Thamnophis couchii); Black-collared lizard (Crotaphytus insularis); Desert horned lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos); Desert spiny lizard (Sceloporus magister); Western gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer); Ground snake (Sonora semiannulata); Long-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia wislizenii); Long-nosed snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei); Milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum); Panamint alligator lizard (Elgaria panamintina), a California endemic found only in the following desert mountains: Panamint, Inyo, Nelson, White, Cosos and Argus; Yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor); Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus); Sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus); Pygmy short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii); Side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana); Striped whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatus); Western banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus); Western patch-nosed snake (Salvadora hexalepis); Western pond turtle (Emys marmorata); Western terrestrial garter snake (Thamnophis elegans); Tiger whiptail (Cnemidophorus tigris); Zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides); Rubber boa (Charina bottae); and Night snake (Hypsiglena torquata).
A large number of bird species occur within the Great Basin, either as resident or migratory taxa. Example avian species found here are: Lewis's woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis); Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitans); Pinyon jay (Phainopepla nitans VU), a specialist found in pinyon-juniper woodlands; Greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus NT); Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis).
- C.Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2015. Great Basin shrub steppe. Great Basin shrub steppe. Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC. Ed. M. McGinley
- J.M. Hoekstra, J. L.; Jennings, M.; Revenga, C.; Spalding, M. D.; Boucher, T. M.; Robertson, J. C.; Heibel, T. J.; Ellison, K. (2010). Molnar, J. L., ed. The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-26256-0.
Colorado Plateau Shrublands Habitat
This taxon can be found in the Colorado Plateau shrublands, as one of its North American ecoregions of occurrence. The Plateau is an elevated, northward-tilted saucer landform, characterized by its high elevation and arid to semi-arid climate. Known for the Grand Canyon, it exhibits dramatic topographic relief through the erosive action of high-gradient, swift-flowing rivers that have downcut and incised the plateau. Approximately 90 percent of the plateau is drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries, notably the lower catchment of the Green River.
A pinyon-juniper zone is extensive, dominated by a pygmy forest of Pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) and several species of juniper (Juniperus spp). Between the trees the ground is sparsely covered by grama, other grasses, herbs, and various shrubs, such as Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and Alder-leaf cercocarpus (Cercocarpus montanus).
A montane zone extends over large areas on the high plateaus and mountains, but is much smaller than the pinyon-juniper zone. The montane vegetation varies considerably, from Ponderosa pine in the south to Lodgepole pine and Aspen further north. Northern Arizona contains four distinct Douglas-fir habitat types. The lowest zone has arid grasslands but with many bare areas, as well as xeric shrubs and sagebrush. Several species of cacti and yucca are common at low elevations in the south.
Numerous mammalian species are found within the Colorado Plateau shrublands ecoregion, including the Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus); Long-eared chipmunk (Tamias quadrimaculatus); Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens EN); Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris); and the Uinta chipmunk (Tamias umbrinus), a burrowing omnivore.
A large number of birds are seen in the ecoregion, with representative taxa: Chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus NT); Greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus NT); Northern pygmy owl (Glaucidium gnoma); Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus).
There are various snakes occurring within the Colorado Plateau, including: Black-necked garter snake (Thamnophis cyrtopsis), usually found in riparian zones; Plains Blackhead snake (Tantilla nigriceps); Black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus), who seeks inactivity refuge in rock crevices, animal burrows and even woodrat houses. Other reptiles found here include the Common checkered whiptail (Cnemidophorus tesselatus).
There are only a limited number of anuran taxa on the Colorado Plateau; in fact, the comprehensive occcurrence list for the ecoregion is: Red-spotted toad (Anaxyrus punctatus); Canyon treefrog (Hyla arenicolor); Woodhouse's toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii); Couch's spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus couchii); Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens); Plains spadefoot toad (Spea bombifrons); and Southwestern toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus). The Tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) is the sole salamander found on the Colorado Plateau shrublands.
The Colorado River fish fauna display distinctive adaptive radiations. The Humpback chub (Gila cypha), for example, is a highly specialized minnow that lives in the upper Colorado. It adapted to the water’s fast current and its extremes of temperature and flow rate. Dams and water diversion, however, have created a series of placid, stillwater lakes and side streams, and the Humpback chub may not be able to adapt to these altered conditions. The species, along with other native Colorado River fishes including the Bonytail (Gila elegans), Squawfish (Ptychocheilus lucius), and the Flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis), may not survive much further in time.
- C. Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2014."Colorado Plateau shrublands". Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC ed.Mark McGinley.
- Michael G. Barbour and William Dwight Billings. 2000. North American Terrestrial Vegetation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55986-3.
- Taylor H. Ricketts. 1999. Terrestrial ecoregions of North America: a conservation assessment. 485 pages
Certain soil and vegetation characteristics must be met in order for Utah prairie dogs to establish a colony in a particular prairie. The area must be well-drained and have soil deep enough for protection against predators and for insulation during the winter. Cynomys parvidens must be able to dig one meter deep without getting wet. The vegetation must be low enough to allow the prairie dogs to scan the environment for predators. The range of Cynomys parividens is restricted by climate, physical, and biological barriers. The western region has higher temperatures and a drier climate and the tall grass restricts viewing of the surroundings. Mountains and deserts to the east, west and south may be impassible. Competiton with Uinta ground squirrel (Spermophilus armatus) probably limits expansion as well. (US Fish and Wildlife Service 1991).
Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland
Habitat and Ecology
They reproduce slowly, relative to other rodents (Hoogland 2001). Females produce only one litter per year, but the probability of weaning a litter each year is only 67% (Hoogland 2001). Although all females copulate as yearlings, only 49% of males do so (Hoogland 2001). For females that wean offspring, mean litter size at first emergence from the nursery burrow is 3.88 (Hoogland 2001). Mating occurs in March or April. Gestation lasts about one month. Young are born in late April or early May. Litter size is 2-10 (average 3-5); female produces one litter per year. Young emerge above ground at six weeks (late May to early June), weaned in about seven weeks, first breed at about two years.
Lives in colonies ("towns"). Colony structure is dynamic in size and location; social units within colony comprise a dominant male, several females, and the young of the past two years (Matthews and Moseley 1990). Survivorship in the first year is less than 50%; only 30% remain alive at the end of their second year (Hoogland 2001).
Feeds primarily on grasses, alfalfa, leafy aster, European glorybind, wild buckwheats in seed, flowers and seeds of shrubs, and insects when available; also may consume cattle faeces; generally prefers flowers and seeds over leaves. The species is inactive and torpid in severe winter conditions. Adults emerge and begin foraging from mid-March to early April, enter dormancy mid-July to mid-August; juveniles enter dormancy from early October to mid-November; low elevation colonies (below 7,000 ft) generally are two weeks earlier than higher elevation colonies (Spahr et al. 1991).
Comments: Habitat consists of grasslands, in level mountain valleys, in areas with deep well-drained soil and vegetation that prairie dogs can see over or through. Prairie dogs dig underground burrow systems, in which the young are born.
Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Utah prairie dogs are mostly herbivorous. They prefer flowers and seeds over grass, however grass is available more often than seasonal flowers and seeds. Young leaves are preferred over old leaves and stems are rarely eaten. Young Utah prairie dogs prefer dead vegetation and cattle feces. Cynomys parvidens eat insects (cicadas) when available. (US Fish and Wildlife Service 1991).
Comments: Feeds primarily on grasses, alfalfa, leafy aster, European glorybind, wild buckwheats in seed, flowers and seeds of shrubs, and insects when available; also may consume cattle feces; generally prefers flowers and seeds over leaves.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Comments: On a broad scale, USFWS (1991) mapped about two dozen subpopulations (distinct patches of occupied habitat).
2500 - 10,000 individuals
Comments: Counts by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in 2004 yielded a population estimate of approximately 8,000 adults (USFWS, http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/species/mammals/utprairiedog/).
Population densities are extremely variable, ranging from a mean of less than 2.5/ha to more than 74/ha (Pizzimenti and Collier 1975). Lives in colonies ("towns"). Colony structure is dynamic in size and location; social units within colony comprise a dominant male, several females, and the young of the past 2 years (Matthews and Moseley 1990).
Survivorship in first year less than 50%; only 30% remain alive at the end of their second year (Hoogland 2001).
Life History and Behavior
Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical
Comments: Inactive and torpid in severe winter conditions. Adults emerge and begin foraging from mid-March to early April, enter dormancy mid-July to mid-August; juveniles enter dormancy from early October to mid-November; low elevation colonies (below 7000 ft) generally are two weeks earlier than higher elevation colonies (Spahr et al. 1991).
The gestation period lasts about 30 days and young are born in April. There are between 3 and 4 young per litter. Adult size is reached in October and adults become sexually mature when one year old. (US FIsh and Wildlife Service 1991).
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual
Reproduce slowly, relative to other rodents (Hoogland 2001). Females produce only one litter per year, but the probability of weaning a litter each year is only 67% (Hoogland 2001). Although all females copulate as yearlings, only 49% of males do so (Hoogland 2001). For females that wean offsptring, mean litter size at first emergence from the nursery burrow is 3.88 (Hoogland 2001).
Mating occurs in March or April. Gestation lasts about 1 month. Young are born in late April or early May. Litter size is 2-10 (average 3-5); female produces one litter per year. Young emerge above ground at 6 weeks (late May to early June), weaned in about 7 weeks, first breed at about 2 years.
Cynomys parivdens was previously listed as endangered. The Utah prairie dog had become endangered due to several factors. These include diseases, poisoning, droughts, and habitat alterations for cultivation and grazing. Plague outbreaks occur when a colony is overpopulated and there is increased stress on the individuals. From 1972 to 1989 a transplant program was initiated to move Cynomys parvidens from private agricultural areas to pubilic land sites. This program proved successful and the species was reclassified to threatened in May, 1984. (US Fish and Wildlife Service 1991).
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Lower Risk/conservation dependent(Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
- 1994Vulnerable(Groombridge 1994)
- 1990Vulnerable(IUCN 1990)
- 1988Vulnerable(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
- 1986Vulnerable(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
- 1982Vulnerable(Thornback and Jenkins 1982)
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Small range in southern Utah, however populations have been increasing slowly over the past 20 years and are at their highest levels. Numerous new colonies have ben found since 2007 (Ben Sutter, pers. comm., 2013).
Other Considerations: Dynamic nature of colony size and location - grow from center, die off and increase at peripheries.
Date Listed: 06/04/1973
Lead Region: Mountain-Prairie Region (Region 6)
Where Listed: U.S.A.(UT)
Population location: U.S.A.(UT)
Listing status: T
For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Cynomys parvidens , see its USFWS Species Profile
According to USFWS (1990), the total population increased to 9,200 adults in spring 1989. The range continued to expand in the early 1990s as a result of transplantation and natural population increase; this increase may have resulted from recent mild winters in Utah; population densities in the early 1990s were "increasing to a point where a crash is imminent due to an outbreak of plague" (USFWS 1990). Range-wide spring survey counts conducted by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in the spring of 2004 found 4,022 adults, which represents approximately half of the total population. Hence the current population size is similar to that in 1989.
Population in 1920 (before control programs) was estimated at 95,000 (USFWS 1990). Currently the adult population size is thought to be fewer than 10,000. Historical area of occupancy has declined from about 1,800 square kilometers historically to only about 28 square kilometers today.
Population densities are extremely variable, ranging from a mean of less than 2.5/ha to more than 74/ha (Pizzimenti and Collier 1975).
Population in 1920 (before control programs) has been estimated at 95,000 (USFWS 1990). Currently the adult population size is thought to be fewer than 10,000. Historical area of occupancy has declined from about 1,800 square kilometers historically to only about 28 square kilometers today.
Global Long Term Trend: Decline of >90%
Comments: Population in 1920 (before control programs) has been estimated at 95,000 (USFWS 1990). Currently the adult population size is thought to be fewer than 10,000. Historical area of occupancy has declined from about 1,800 square kilometers historically to only about 28 square kilometers today.
Recent threats include habitat destruction resulting from residential and agricultural development on private lands, deliberate (illegal) poisoning and shooting by ranchers and farmers concerned about agricultural damage, and plague outbreaks (Hoogland et al. 2004). Plague has caused major declines in various populations over the past several decades. Grasslands are becoming dominated by sagebrush due to livestock grazing (K. McDonald pers. comm., 1995); shrubby habitats provide poor conditions for prairie dogs. Drought may reduce prairie dog food resources and cause population declines in colonies on drier sites.
Degree of Threat: High
Comments: The major historical decline was primarily a result of intensive poisoning efforts. For example, in 1971, poisoning "annihilated" one of the few remaining large colonies (near Loa, Wayne County) (Pizzimenti and Collier 1975). In 1972, the largest colony (Enoch, Iron County) was reduced from more than 1,000 individuals to fewer than 50, apparently from poisoning (Pizzimenti and Collier 1975).
Recent threats include habitat destruction resulting from residential and agricultural development on private lands, deliberate (illegal) poisoning and shooting by ranchers and farmers concerned about agricultural damage, and plague outbreaks (Hoogland et al. 2004). Plague has caused major declines in various populations over the past several decades. Grasslands are becoming dominated by sagebrush due to livestock grazing (K. McDonald, pers. comm., 1995); shrubby habitats provide poor conditions for prairie dogs. Drought may reduce prairie dog food resources and cause population declines in colonies on drier sites. See Iron County Commission and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (1998) for further information and references.
One colony is protected in Bryce Canyon National Park. As of 2004, despite public land efforts at establishing new Utah prairie dog colonies and supplementing existing ones, approximately 68% of Utah prairie dogs still occur on private and other nonfederal lands.
Research needs include: determine causes of high rate of crashes of local populations; determine rangeland revegetation and grazing practices that will result in improved persistence of translocated populations; determine genetic consequences of high rates of population crashes and how this affects the spatial arrangement of translocation sites and numerical goals for population recovery (Utah Prairie Dog Recovery Implementation Team 1997).
Management Requirements: State wildlife officials are permitted to control populations in order to prevent excessive damage to agriculture; removed individuals are used in reintroduction program. See Coffeen and Pederson (in Oldemeyer et al. 1993) for information on transplant techniques and site selection criteria.
A strategic management plan has been completed by the state of Utah (USFWS 1990). A habitat conservation plan has been developed for Iron County (Iron County Commission and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources 1998).
Livestock grazing may improve habitat by producing shorter vegetation and encouraging regrowth, but overgrazing can be detrimental by reducing the production of cool-season grasses, such as blue grama, by causing loss of moist swales or small meadows through gullying, and by encouraging the growth of tall shrubs (Spahr et al. 1991).
Infusion of burrows with Pyraperm (an insecticide-dust) kills fleas and immediately halts the spread of plague within colonies (Hoogland et al. 2004).
Management Research Needs: See Miller et al. (in Oldemeyer et al. 1993) for a list of questions for management and research, related to ferret reintroduction, in priority order in each category of disease, habitat management, population dynamics, and public relations.
Biological Research Needs: Research needs include: determine causes of high rate of crashes of local populations; determine rangeland revegetation and grazing practices that will result in improved persistence of translocated populations; determine genetic consequences of high rates of population crashes and how this affects the spatial arrangement of translocation sites and numerical goals for population recovery (Utah Prairie Dog Recovery Implementation Team 1997).
Global Protection: Few (1-3) occurrences appropriately protected and managed
Comments: One colony is protected in Bryce Canyon National Park. As of 2004, despite public land efforts at establishing new Utah prairie dog colonies and supplementing existing ones, approximately 68% of Utah prairie dogs still occur on private and other nonfederal lands.
Needs: See USFWS (1991) and Utah Prairie Dog Recovery Implementation Team (1997).
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Utah prairie dogs can cause serious crop and equipment damage in agricultural areas. (US Fish and Wildlife Service 1991).
Stewardship Overview: Actions Needed (Recovery Plan, USFWS 1991): 1. Determine historical range and species distribution. 2. Continually update information on present populations and distributions. 3. Determine what factors influence the viability of prairie dog colonies. 4. Select management and transplant sites. 5. Conduct transplant program. 6. Monitor transplanted colonies. 7. Ensure protection of prairie dogs and their habitat on both existing and transplant sites on public and private lands. 8. Manage prairie dog colonies by developing and implementing sitespecific management plans for each colony or transplant site. 9. Conduct an information and education program.
See Utah Prairie Dog Recovery Implementation Team (1997) for an update.
Utah prairie dog
Like all prairie dogs, the Utah prairie dog is an active forager, eating a wide array of vegetation including grasses, flowers, and seeds and sometimes insects. It is a small mammal, usually standing just 9.8–15.7 in (25–40 cm), and weighing about 1.5–3 lb (0.68–1.36 kg).  Its fur has a brown coloring, and it has a white-tipped tail. They build extensive "towns" of underground tunnels and chambers, each town composed of a population of members of an extended prairie dog family. Many other species make use of their burrows, including owls, snakes, and other rodents. Litters contain three to six young.
The Utah prairie dog is listed as a threatened species by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1972, studies estimated a population of 3,300 Utah prairie dogs in 37 colonies. Studies by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in spring 2004 reported 4,022 Utah prairie dogs, a number believed to reflect half of the total current population. The Utah prairie dog can do significant damage to farms by digging holes and eating crops, drawing the ire of Utah farmers, who have used poison liberally to destroy the animal. This is a major reason for the population decline, though there are other factors, such as "land development, deteriorating rangeland health, the encroachment of woody vegetation, sylvatic plague, and drought." Conservation efforts include encouraging landowners to improve the health of their rangelands, and compensating farmers who set aside areas the prairie dogs may use.
- Linzey, A. V., Rosmarino, N. & NatureServe (Willson, K., Roth, E., Hammerson, G. & Cannings, S.) (2008). Cynomys parvidens. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
- "Species Profile for Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens)". Environmental Conservation Online System. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
- Reid, Fiona A. (2006). Mammals of North America. ISBN 0-395-93596-2.
- "Utah prairie dog". Mountain-Prairie Region Species Website. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
- "Economic Incentives Can Save The Threatened Utah Prairie Dog". Environmental Defense Fund.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Cynomys parvidens has been regarded as a subspecies of Cynomys leucurus by some authors. Thorington and Hoffmann (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) recognized the two taxa as distinct species.
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