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Prairie Dogs Saved By Highway Crew

The Humane Society of the United States Prairie Dog Coalition is working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to remove a colony of prairie dogs from a highway construction project near Boulder, CO.

"Per Colorado Department of Transportation policy, whenever possible we try to minimize our construction footprint near prairie dog colonies, and when that cannot be accomplished, CDOT tries to ensure that only minimal impacts to black-tailed prairie dogs and surround habits occur," said Carol Parr, region 4 environmental manager for CDOT. "We are grateful to the Prairie Dog Coalition’s past and future help with relocations."

To move the prairie dogs away from the heavy equipment, CDOT is catching them and actively relocating each one to a safer environment.

"This effort demonstrates that we can protect imperiled prairie dogs at construction sites," said Ghia Speakman, program manager for The HSUS’ Prairie Dog Coalition. 

Prairie dogs once ranged across eleven states, as well as parts of Mexico and Canada. Today, it is estimated that 98% of their habitat has been lost to urban sprawl and agriculture.

Black-tailed prairie dogs, Gunnison's prairie dogs, Utah prairie dogs, white-tailed prairie dogs, and Mexican prairie dogs all have suffered from plagues that can wipe out an entire colony overnight as well as wholesale hunting, poisoning, and plowing under of burrows by ranchers, farmers, developers, and others.

The Prairie Dog Coalition is an alliance of non-profit organizations, concerned citizens, and scientists dedicated to the protection of prairie dogs and restoration of prairie dog ecosystems, including educating those who live near prairie dogs on nonlethal methods of co-habitation.

Photos of a typical prairie dog relocation supplied by the Prairie Dog Coalition. To learn more, please see this page.

 

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