Utah Prairie Dog

By: Katy Miele

Where is it found?

The Utah Prairie Dog is found in short grass prairie and mountain meadows. Their range is limited to the southwestern quarter of Utah. They're typically found in elevations from 5,400 feet up to 9,500 feet.

Why is it endangered?

The Utah Prairie Dog became an endangered species in 1973. There used to be large amounts of them but their population began to decline in the 60's when people started using poisoning and other methods to try to reduce them. Threats to their population include plague, urban-expansion, overgrazing, climate change, and development.

Why is it important?


Over 200 species have been associated with the prairie dog colonies, including species that either directly depend upon or directly benefit by their activity for survival. They are considered keystone species that perform many important ecological functions including soil aeration which helps plants grow, providing prey for other animals, and maintaing meadow ecosystems.


Tourists come to Utah to see them which brings in money.