The Utah Prairie Dog

Life among the Red Rocks

A prairie dog town is a busy place. As author and field researcher Theodore Manno explains prairie dogs exhibit mischief, romantic trysts, antipredator behavior, fighting, kissing, and infanticide that can all be witnessed over the course of a few months. In this definitive book on Utah prairie dogs, he vividly recounts the daily ups and downs of prairie dog life as well as his own trials and triumphs while observing these rare rodents in Bryce Canyon National Park. As part of John Hoogland’s long-term study, Manno and other members of the “Dog Squad” recorded the behavior of the “town” residents from the vantage point of a nine-foot-tall tower. Over time, the researchers came to know the personalities, family relationships, and social structure of the town’s inhabitants. Demonstrating an unbridled passion for research, Manno communicates the satisfaction, excitement, and sadness that comes with watching marked individuals over time. His extensively researched narrative, accompanied by more than 150 photos by wildlife photographer Elaine Miller Bond, provides a full overview of what is currently known about Utah prairie dogs, a species that is threatened with extinction.

Theodore G. Manno, Ph.D., has published ten peer-reviewed scientific articles and dozens of magazine contributions, many of which feature his photography. In addition to his work with prairie dogs, his research experience includes scarlet macaws in Costa Rica and a dissertation completed at Auburn University on the mating behavior of ground squirrels in Canada. Manno lives in Arizona where he is President-Elect and Newsletter Editor for the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science. His research has been featured in Discovery News, New Scientist, and other news outlets.
Elaine Miller Bond is the author and illustrator of Dream Affimals: Affirmations + Animals and Affimals. Her writing and photography have appeared on the Discovery Channel and in numerous popular and scientific publications. She makes her home in Orinda, California and contributes vibrant wildlife stories and photos to Berkeleyside, the city’s news site.

Praise and Reviews:
“An incredible blend of scholarship and experience.... The work represents a cornucopia of detailed scientific finds, incredible images, and humorous anecdotes on the trials and tribulations of field biologists working to reveal the mysteries of one of America’s most uncommon species. This opus represents a laudatory compendium on everything that is known on Utah prairie dogs but also provides new insights and a colorful picture of a fascinating beast!"--John L. Koprowski, Professor, Wildlife Conservation and Management, University of Arizona