It can’t be easy being one of these creatures on the Great Plains. Threats abound as they are a food source for a wide variety of predators from eagles and hawks to fox and coyote. Man is an additional threat in many areas as Prairie Dogs are viewed as pests and can carry the plague. They are however a keystone species in many locations and critical to the overall health of the ecosystem.
Not only do many other species rely on them as food but others use their burrows for dens and nests. This particular Black-tailed Prairie Dog was up soon before sunrise recently, seeming to scout the immediate area to ensure it was safe for the rest of the colony to come out.