Once again the ranchers have gotten their way to kill off another native species that uses grasslands. The black-tailed prairie dog.
The EPA and FWS have bowed to the ranchers again. The EPA approved poisons --Kaput-D and Rozol to kill off this animal. FWS has denied the prairie dogs protection under the Endangered Species Act and approved the use of the poisons as well as good ol' fashioned shooting to get rid of the population. The approved poisons are very painful. They cause the animal to bleed to death, which takes weeks. In addition, any animal that eats prairie dogs such as hawks, golden eagles and coyotes will be poisoned as well. Last month FWS approved to increase the amount of poisoning used on prairie dogs in Thunder Basin National Grassland in Northeastern Wyoming.
The prairie dogs are found in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. The prairie dogs once had a living space of 80-100 million acres. Now, it's down to 2.4 million.
In October Audubon of Kansas and Defenders of Wildlife attempted to sue the EPA.