The mama at this spot has a lot of mouths to feed! She was about ten feet away, grazing while the little ones hung out at the family home. Threats on the Great Plains abound for these creatures so they must always be on high alert.
I am oftentimes dismissive of these animals and many people think nothing about wiping out their colonies in the name of “progress,” however, they play a significant role in the ecosystem. As a keystone species, many other animals are dependent on the prairie dog.
Most notably, raptors and many meat-eating mammals require them for food and burrowing owls depend on them for their summer homes. Take away the prairie dogs and you take away all of the other animals that depend on it.