Abilene in Taylor County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
A Keystone Species of the Great Plains
Redbud Park Prairie Dogs
The Redbud Park prairie dog town was a natural prairie dog town. The enclosed area was established in 1979 with Revenue Sharing Funds.
Weight: 1.5-3 lbs.
Length with tail: 3-5"
Shoulder Height: 3-4"
Sexual Maturity: 1 year
Mating Season: March-April
Gestation Period: 28-32 days
No. of Young: 3-8, 5 avg.
Birth Interval: 1 year
Lifespan: 3-5 years in the wild
Prairie Dogs are the most social members of the Squirrel Family and are closely related to ground squirrels, chipmunks and marmots. There are five species of Prairie Dogs (genus Cynomys):
Black-tailed Prairie Dog (C. ludovicianus) occupies narrow bands of dry plains stretching from central Texans to Canada.
White-tailed Prairie Dog (C. leucurus) inhabits Western US: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana.
Gunnison's Prairie Dog (C. gunnisoni) has a much shorter tail than other Prairie Dogs, and it is uniquely colored and centers around the Four Corners from 5000-11000 feet.
Mexican Prairie Dog (C. mexicanus) is an endangered species with a limited distribution only within parts of Mexico.
Utah Prairie Dog (C. parvidens) is the smallest of all Prairie
Curious Prairie Dog Facts
Prairie Dogs are stout, burrowing rodents among the many varieties of ground squirrels.
Prairie Dog burrows are called "towns."
Most Prairie Dogs hibernate during the winter.
Settlers called them "dogs" and "sod poodles" because of their high-pitched, bark-like call.
As members of the genus Cynomys (Greek for "mouse dog"), all 5 species of Prairie Dogs belong to the Squirrel family (Sciuridae).
Prairie Dogs issue different sounds identifying various predators, which include hawks, owls, eagles, ravens, coyotes, badgers, ferrets and snakes.
At the turn of the century, as many as 5 billion Prairie Dogs occupied millions of acres of grass prairies across the West.
Why are prairie dogs important?
Aside from the argument that all life is precious, the prairie dogs is a recognized keystone (or integral) species of the short-grass prairie ecosystem. They contribute to the lives of other mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects of the prairie by providing habitat and food. Abandoned burrows are frequently used as homes by burrowing owls, white tailed rabbits, badgers, weasels, snakes, and even foxes. Prairie dogs' churning activities aerate the soil to allow for more water penetration, while their nitrogen-rich dung improves the quality of
Location. 32° 24.483′ N, 99° 45.819′ W. Marker is in Abilene, Texas, in Taylor County. Marker can be reached from Curry Lane 0.1 miles west of Buffalo Gap Road. Touch for map. Marker is located in the southwest corner of Red Bud Park; the above directions are to the Curry Lane entrance to the park. Marker is in this post office area: Abilene TX 79605, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Abilene Woman's Club Building (approx. 1.7 miles away); McMurry College (approx. 1.7 miles away); Abilene State School (approx. 2.4 miles away); Company I 7th Texas Infantry (approx. 2.4 miles away); Sacred Heart Catholic Church (approx. 2.6 miles away); Hattie and Henry Sayles, Sr., House (approx. 2.6 miles away); Dyess Elementary School (approx. 3 miles away); Site of Western Cattle Trail (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abilene.
More about this marker. The left and bottom sides of the marker are damaged and are
Categories. • Environment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 12, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 188 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 12, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.