Species of Concern
White-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys leucurus)
Wyoming Distribution by County
Albany, Big Horn, Carbon, Fremont, Hot Springs, Johnson, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sublette, Sweetwater, Uinta, Washakie
In May of 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated a status review for the white-tailed prairie dog (73 FR 24910). The purpose of the status review is to determine whether the species warrants listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
The white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) is approximately 13 to 15 inches long and weighs 1 to 3 pounds. It is a small, stout rodent within the squirrel family. White-tailed prairie dogs have a short, white-tipped tail, large eyes, a blackish-brown cheek patch above and below each eye, and a tan-brown pelt. They typically inhabit moderately sloped grasslands, desert grasslands, and shrublands at altitudes ranging from 5,500 to 9,800 feet. While the white-tailed prairie dog occurs over much of its historic range, colonies are more widely dispersed and population sizes have declined. The white-tailed prairie dog inhabits areas across western and central Wyoming, northwest Colorado, northeastern Utah, and a small area in south-central Montana. The majority of the range of this species is encompassed by Wyoming.