Black-tailed prairie dogs once numbered in the hundreds of millions – maybe even over 1 billion – and were possibly the most abundant mammal in North America. But due to a variety of reasons, their numbers have decreased by over 95%. Today they may number around 10-20 million. Habitat destruction, poisoning, shooting and exotic disease (sylvatic plague). The remaining prairie dog colonies are small and fragmented, separated by great expanses of cropland and human development. Prairie dog colony losses continue today due to all of these threats.
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