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Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs are keystone species that are important to many other species, including mountain plover and endangered black-footed ferret.

Prairie dogs were and are killed due to the perceived competition with livestock and currently occupy less than two percent of their historic range in North America. Disease is now also a major threat to these small populations.

PROGRESS TO DATE

Lands owned by American Prairie are home to many prairie dog colonies that support diverse wildlife, including several breeding pairs of burrowing owls. In 2015, Defenders of Wildlife and the Prairie Dog Coalition of the Humane Society started working with American Prairie to grow prairie dog towns on the Reserve. We are monitoring these colonies and working to significantly expand them by prohibiting prairie dog shooting on our private lands and applying insecticide, which helps reduce the outbreak of a lethal disease in the colonies. In addition, we are working closely with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and Bureau of Land Management biologists to ensure healthy and expansive prairie dog populations that can support black-footed ferrets.

In 2015, Defenders of Wildlife and the Prairie Dog Coalition of the Humane Society started working to grow prairie dog towns on the Reserve and reduce the chance of disease. American Prairie supports this work and participates in annual prairie dog "dustings" that help to reduce the spread of disease.

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Prairie dog photo by Gib Myers

Defenders of Wildlife and the Prairie Dog Coalition of the Humane Society are helping the Reserve conserve and grow prairie dog towns. Read a report covering their recent work. 

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