Eliminating prairie dogs can lead to desertification

By Sarah Zielinski, 11:56 AM October 17, 2013

Prairie dog haters, be warned: Removing the species you consider a pest could ruin delicate lands.

North America is home to five prairie dog species, which live in various parts of the Great Plains from southern Canada to Mexico. The small, herbivorous rodents live in colonies in burrows beneath the ground. They are considered keystone species, because the loss of prairie dogs in an ecosystem leads to a large loss of biodiversity. Prairie dog burrows, for example, provide homes for many amphib...

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