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bison and prairie dogs

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bison and prairie dogs

Prairie dogs are not dogs at all; rather, they are closely related to squirrels! They get their peculiar name from their warning cry, which sounds like a dog’s bark. Listen carefully to the prairie dog camera and you may hear it for yourself!

These rabbit-sized, burrowing rodents can be found across North American grasslands, all the way from Canada to northern Mexico.

Prairie dogs build and live in elaborate underground burrows. The burrows include a sleeping area, nursery and eating area. Other animals such as snakes and ferrets sometimes commandeer the burrows and use them for their own benefit.

Some species of prairie dogs live together as families. A father, several mothers and their offspring will live in the same burrow. By watching the prairie dog camera, you may witness juveniles playing just outside the burrow entrance, being watched by their parents.

The best known of the prairie dog species, the black-tailed prairie dog, live in colonies called “towns” that contain hundreds or even thousands of members. A typical town covers an area of about a half square mile.

Since the agriculture took over the Great Plains in the 19th century, the population of prairie dogs has decreased dramatically. It is estimated that the prairie dogs’ current range is about 7% of what it was prior to European settlement. The prairie dog camera is located within the boundaries of Grasslands National Park in Canada.

Bison Bison are the largest indigenous land mammal on the North American continent. Considered a keystone species, these wooly herbivores helped shaped the ecology of the Great Plains today. At least 80% of Canada's native prairie has been lost, yet at Grasslands National Park there is a flourishing herd of plains bison that freely roam their native prairie.

  • topic: bison

  • location: val marie

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about grasslands national park

large bison on Grasslands National Park camera

Three web cams have been installed in the West Block of Grasslands National Park near the watering hole and Ecotour Black Tailed Prairie Dog Colony. These cameras will provide insight into the daily life of the plains bison, the black-tailed prairie dogs and other predatory animals. A prescribed burn was completed in April to help with the greening process of the prairie grasses to attract bison to the watering hole area.

Grasslands National Park is home to a unique blend of prairie-adapted common and endangered species from the Pronghorn Antelope, Sage Grouse, Burrowing Owl, and Ferruginous Hawk to the Prairie Rattlesnake and Greater Short-horned Lizard. Grasslands and the area immediately around the park are the only places in Canada where Black-tailed Prairie Dogs and Black-footed Ferrets exist in their native habitat.

Parks Canada's Mandate:

On behalf of the people of Canada, we protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations.

Parks Canada works to ensure Canada’s historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our treasured natural and historic places.

about

location: Val Marie, SK, Canada

best hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm

time zone: Central Time

links: Parks Canada: Grasslands National Park
Bison Update

Prairie dogs are not dogs at all; rather, they are closely related to squirrels! They get their peculiar name from their warning cry, which sounds like a dog’s bark. Listen carefully to the prairie dog camera and you may hear it for yourself!

These rabbit-sized, burrowing rodents can be found across North American grasslands, all the way from Canada to northern Mexico.

Prairie dogs build and live in elaborate underground burrows. The burrows include a sleeping area, nursery and eating area. Other animals such as snakes and ferrets sometimes commandeer the burrows and use them for their own benefit.

Some species of prairie dogs live together as families. A father, several mothers and their offspring will live in the same burrow. By watching the prairie dog camera, you may witness juveniles playing just outside the burrow entrance, being watched by their parents.

The best known of the prairie dog species, the black-tailed prairie dog, live in colonies called “towns” that contain hundreds or even thousands of members. A typical town covers an area of about a half square mile.

Since the agriculture took over the Great Plains in the 19th century, the population of prairie dogs has decreased dramatically. It is estimated that the prairie dogs’ current range is about 7% of what it was prior to European settlement. The prairie dog camera is located within the boundaries of Grasslands National Park in Canada.

Bison Bison are the largest indigenous land mammal on the North American continent. Considered a keystone species, these wooly herbivores helped shaped the ecology of the Great Plains today. At least 80% of Canada's native prairie has been lost, yet at Grasslands National Park there is a flourishing herd of plains bison that freely roam their native prairie.

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