UPDATE FROM REDONDO MEADOW, where Mariana has just wrapped up for the summer. All of the juveniles who were discovered in late June are still alive, and have all been captured, tagged, and added to the study population. Mothers "Head" and "RAB" are also still alive, and freshly marked as well. Mariana was unable to trap the three prairie dogs she frequently saw on the fringes of the study site, one or all of which could be the fathers of the new offspring (impossible to tell).
The good news is that of the 10 new Redondo Meadow juveniles, 6 were female. As a philopatric, matrilocal species (see more under COLONIALITY), prairie dog females do not disperse and will remain in their natal territories for their entire lives (barring rare circumstances that would cause them to disperse, such as losing all their kin). Adult female Head (who in 2016 failed to successfully rear a litter) had a full nursery burrow of seven juveniles, four of which were female. New mother RAB had three offspring, two of which were females.
Other prairie dogs were spotted (and heard) far outside the study site at Redondo Meadow, which bodes well for dispersing males looking for mates. In the Gunnison's species, female prairie dogs will begin mating in their first year, which means by this time in 2018, we will hopefully more than two litters in Redondo Meadow. We must keep in mind that a certain number of juveniles statsitically will not survive to the following year, but we remain optimistic that a few of the new offspring will be there for 2018. Stay tuned!