Mayor Chavez declares February 2, 2009 as Prairie Dog Day.
In a uniquely western twist on Groundhog Day, Mayor Martin Chavez proclaimed February 2, 2009 to be PRAIRIE DOG DAY, becoming one of the first western mayors to salute this indigenous symbol of our western heritage.
Mayor Martin Chavez and the City of Albuquerque mark this anniversary by renewing the proclamation once again this year as a reminder to all of the importance of one of Albuquerque’s important residents! The anniversary of this proclamation endures in recognition of both the value prairie dogs perform to the ecosystem and of the worsening plight of prairie dogs everywhere.
While it is uncertain if the prairie dog is an accurate predictor of the weather, many scientists believe that the prairie dog can predict the future of the plains. As a keystone species one on which many other species depend for survival some conservationists compare the prairie dog to a canary in a coal mine. "Just as the groundhog predicts the duration of winter, the west's 'groundhog,' the prairie dog, foretells the future of a community of wildlife dependent on prairie dogs for food and for the habitat they create," said Dr. Lauren McCain, deserts and grasslands program director at Forest Guardians' Denver office.
Click here to view the proclamation.