|Agency seeks volunteer ranches to provide 'safe harbor' for endangered ferrets
By Karl Puckett - Great Falls Tribune - 02/08/2013
Want to volunteer a ranch to harbor an endangered species? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to hear from you. The agency is working on a plan in which ranch owners in the West would willingly allow the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, a near-extinct member of the weasel family that once thrived amid colonies of prairie dogs, its main food. More...
|Groups file lawsuit over white-tailed prairie dog
By San Francisco Chronicle - 02/07/2013
Four conservation groups based in Wyoming, Colorado and Montana have filed a lawsuit seeking to compel federal officials to address the white-tailed prairie dog population. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has said the species doesn't warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, but the groups disagree. More...
|Prairie dogs could be saviors of Mexico's former prairies
By Living on Earth - 01/30/2013
Prairie dogs used to rule the prairies of America and Mexico. But when ranchers moved in, prairie dogs were exterminated. Now, an ecologist says the black-tailed prairie dogs are critical for turning Mexico's desert back into prairie. More...
|Land deal will help rural airports, Utah prairie dog
By Amy Joi O'Donoghue - Deseret News - 01/29/2013
As part of an ongoing effort to preserve habitat for Utah prairie dogs yet offset their impacts to rural airports, 800 acres of school trust lands property will be sold to The Nature Conservancy. The transaction, announced Tuesday, happened with Federal Aviation Administration dollars, with the agency planning to pay $800,000 to the Utah School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration. In exchange, the conservancy will get 800 acres of prime prairie dog habitat on Johnson's Bench in Garfield County. More...
|Feds announce black-footed ferret recovery effort
By The Associated Press - Missoulian - 12/18/2012
A memorandum of understanding between federal and state agencies would allow routine grazing for property owners who agree to set aside land as black-footed ferret habitat. The Safe Harbor Agreement announced Monday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is part of an effort to boost the wild population of the endangered animal from 500 to 3,000 in the next 10 years. More...
|11-year-old protests prairie dog extermination at Lakewood city council
By Will C. Holden - KDVR.com - 12/11/2012
On Sunday she laid down crosses in an open space to protest the extermination of prairie dogs in her Lakewood neighborhood. On Monday, 11-year-old Cymbre Smith took her protest to a city council meeting. Smith’s protest began after awakening over the weekend to find a colony of prairie dogs near her home had been exterminated due to a request from a group of protesting neighborhoods. More...
|Science, culture merge Museum of Discovery opens
By Robert Allen - Fort Collins Coloradoan - 11/10/2012
The wind meter swiftly increased — 10 mph, then 30, 40, 50 — to a tornado-force blast of nearly 80 mph as Nick Herlihy stood grinning in a tube the size of a phone booth. His clothes flapped rapidly as others watched from outside the Tornado Chamber at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. “I thought I was going to lose my glasses,” said Nick, 14. He was among the first to enter the north Old Town museum at 408 Mason Court on Saturday morning for its much-anticipated grand opening. More than 100 people shuffled through the doors after public officials spoke of the $26.7 million project’s innovation and fusion of science with culture. Endangered, black-footed ferrets dwell in a case near the museum entrance next to some preserved prairie dogs and other creatures. More...
|Officials encouraged, not surprised by S.D. ferret sightings
By David Hendee - Omaha World-Herald - 11/09/2012
The discovery of black-footed ferrets, where none were known to exist, has encouraged but not surprised federal officials on a mission to bring the endangered species back from the edge of extinction. An adult and two juvenile ferrets were discovered last week on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. A Nebraska environmental consulting company spotted and photographed the critters during a nocturnal spotlight survey of a prairie dog town. More...
|Fall tour highlights how wildlife, livestock can benefit each other
By Karla Christensen - The Prairie Star - 11/07/2012
Cattle and wildlife don’t just coexist, on the rangelands of Montana. They benefit each other. The fall tour of the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR NWR) Working Group earlier this fall provided attendees a knowledge of the interaction between the two. More...
|Game and Fish announces black-footed ferret spotlighting results
Arizona Game and Fish Department - 10/25/2012
A record number of volunteers assisted in the effort to document the population of endangered black-footed ferrets in Aubrey Valley, just west of Seligman. The Arizona Game and Fish Department partnered with 144 volunteers for the fall spotlighting effort from Sept. 27-Oct. 1 to count the elusive predators. Spotlighting from dusk-to-dawn is the method used to capture the animals and document the population. More...
|Commissioners OK updated prairie dog policies
By John Fryar - Longmont Times-Call - 10/16/2012
Boulder County's prairie dog management policies now contain what the county staff calls "a vision" for expanding the county-owned Habitat Conservation Areas suitable for prairie dog colonies. An updated prairie dog management plan that Boulder County commissioners approved on Tuesday states an objective of maintaining 5,000 or more acres of such designated prairie-dog Habitat Conservation Areas in county grasslands. More...
|“Return of the Prairie Bandit” honored with 2012 Conservation Education Award
Wildlife.org - 10/15/2012
The award recognized Kenton Vaughan (Director), Mark Caswell (Cinematographer), Margus Jukkum (Sound Recordist) and Travis Livieri of Prairie Wildlife Research.More...
|Nebraska has three of Top 10 ecotourist sites in the Great Plains
Lincoln Journal Stars - 09/17/2012
The Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced the results of its survey to determine theTop 10 ecotourist sites in the Great Plains. Early this spring the center conducted a two-phase survey of 51 naturalists in nine states with knowledge of Great Plains ecotourism. The most frequently identified sites were then named as the region's Top 10 sites. More...
|Ferrets’ return on hold
By Royal McGregor - The Dickinson Press - 09/13/2012
The black-footed ferret, which had been thought twice extinct and has been on the endangered species list since 1967, is making a comeback. The resurgence of black-footed ferrets is due in large part to the National Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Program, a multi-partner project lead by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But plans to bring the ferrets back to North Dakota aren’t concrete. More...
|Boulder County may expand its acreage of prairie dog habitat sites
By John Fryar - Longmont Times-Call - 08/28/2012
Boulder County commissioners appear poised to set a goal of having 5,000 acres of county-owned lands designated as suitable habitat for prairie dogs, a goal that may include a 2020 target date. Commissioner Deb Gardner suggested Tuesday night that such a goal be incorporated into an update of Boulder County's procedures, policies and strategies for controlling and managing prairie dogs on county properties. More...
|Game and Fish invites public to help count black-footed ferrets
By Eric Zott - KPHO.com - 08/20/2012
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is looking for volunteers to lend a hand in the recovery of an endangered species - the black-footed ferret. Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesman Zen Mocarski said the public is needed to help count the numbers of black-footed ferrets in the Aubrey Valley in northwestern Arizona, near Seligman. From Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, Game and Fish will be conducting its annual fall spotlighting effort for the elusive and nocturnal animal. More...
|Saving threatened Utah prairie dogs -- on private property
By Nathan Rice - High Country News - 08/20/2012
When Curt Bagley learned he could get paid for the prairie dogs digging up his land, he had a change of heart toward the varmints he'd grown up shooting. On his family's cattle ranch in Greenwich, Utah, they'd had to learn to live with the destructive rodents since 1973, when Utah prairie dogs were federally protected. "If I had my druthers, I wouldn't have 'em," Bagley says. "But they're here, so I have to work with 'em." To Bagley and many other residents of southwest Utah, prairie dogs have been the bane of an otherwise peaceful existence. More...
|How Do Grasslands Survive Drought?
By Joseph Craine and Joe Fargione - Nature.org - 08/16/2012
Half the United States is currently gripped by drought. And our grasslands are taking a beating. But how grasslands have historically coped with the kinds of extreme drought we’re seeing today has always been a bit of a mystery — until now. A new study we co-authored for Nature Climate Change took on this question by gathering more than 400 species of grass from around the world and subjecting them to drought. More...
|Great Plains: Experts agree conservation must include species biodiversity
By JEAN WILLIAMS - Examiner - 07/23/2012
There has been a concerted effort by numerous wildlife conservation groups in recent years to protect and recover what remains of the North American Great Plains, prairie grasslands and the biodiversity of species that live there. Increasingly, experts acknowledge that controversial black-tailed prairie dogs are essential to preservation programs. Slowly, misconceptions about prairie dogs and the key role they play in healthy prairie ecosystems are changing. More...
|Texas Parks and Wildlife establishing new prairie dog colony
By Mike Leggett - Statesman - 07/21/2012
I killed a prairie dog once. I've never gotten over it. It was way up in the Panhandle, near the little town of Vega. We were there to hunt pheasants, and a local took us out to a very large town somewhere out on the plains. I had a rifle and I killed one, a long shot that worked somehow. But honestly, I just felt bad, and I've hated that feeling ever since. I liked the shot. I did not like the result. I understand there are lots of them, and I truly support people's right to do it, but I made up my mind that I'd never do it again. That was 40 years ago, and so far I've never taken part in another prairie dog shoot. More...
|Appeals court affirms decision
By Mike Corn - Hays Daily News - 07/17/2012
A Kansas Court of Appeals panel has affirmed a decision by Senior Judge Jack Lively, turning aside Logan County's request to let it poison prairie dogs where endangered black-footed ferrets have been reintroduced. The decision, handed down Friday, leaves in place a restraining order effectively limiting any poisoning of prairie dogs to a 90-foot barrier surrounding the nearly 10,000-acre complex where the ferrets have been reintroduced. More...
|Is a prairie dog smarter than an industrial farmer?
By Chris Turner - Mother Nature Network - 07/16/2012
Forgive me, but I’m going to start with a couple of very Canadian references here, and in stereotypical Canadian fashion, I'm going to be overly polite about it. Sorry. Ahem. Okay. So this spring – as every spring – Canadians watched the Stanley Cup playoffs by the millions. And this spring – as every spring – Canadian advertisers paid top dollar to air their best new ads. (From an advertiser’s point of view, CBC-TV’s flagship "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast of the NHL playoffs is basically a Super Bowl drawn out nightly over two months.) More...
|Prairie Dogs Become Prairie Gods; Have Humans Working for Them
By Margaret Downing - Houston Press - 07/10/2012
A colony of black-tailed Prairie Dogs has been moved into a Texas Panhandle park and just to make sure the move would take -- local humans clawed through the earth, initiating the deep drilling that would follow. "Park staff pre-drilled several holes to encourage the animals to being making their dens," a release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said. More...
|Save the Ferret: Wildlife Experts Re-Train Endangered Black-Footed Ferrets to Survive in the Wild
By CLAYTON SANDELL - ABC News - 07/07/2012
It's well after midnight on the South Dakota prairie and biologist Travis Livieri is on the hunt. "These can be extremely elusive creatures," Livieri said. "Sometimes it's kind of like searching for a needle in a haystack." Livieri shines a million-candlepower spotlight mounted on top of his pickup truck into the darkness, sweeping the beam of light left and right. Then suddenly, about 100 yards away, the reflection of shiny green eyes gives away one of the most endangered animals in the world. More...
|Dinosaur National Monument seeks comments on prairie dog management plan
By Craig Daily Press Staff Report - 07/05/2012
National Park Service staff will develop a management plan for white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus) inhabitating developed areas at Dinosaur National Monument, the agency announced in a press release. More...
|Prairie dog relocation goes nowhere
By Deborah Grigsby - Elbert County News - 06/23/2012
Cattleman Dale Lasater, along with the assistance of wildlife experts, asked Elbert County for permission to relocate a population of up to 300 black-tailed prairie dogs to his ranch near Matheson. But opposition from residents as well as the Farm Bureau and Cattlemen’s Association has left the project a bust, said Elbert County Commissioner Kurt Schlegel. More...
|Poisoning of rare prairie dogs infuriates wildlife advocates
By JEAN WILLIAMS - Examiner - 06/18/2012
Last week, the city of Lubbock, Texas came into the International crosshairs of wildlife advocates, after a group of European tourists were guided to a prairie dog colony on private land, only to be told that parks and recreation officials had quietly arrived in the dead of night a few weeks earlier, to infuse the burrows with poison. More...
|Why did Snyder's prairie dog park turn into a ghost town?
By Ronald W. Erdrich - Reporter-News - 05/29/2012
It's been rough year for Larry Thompson. "I was a probation officer for 18 years, I have pretty big shoulders," he said and laughed. "But man this is getting to be tiring." Thompson is the Parks Manager for Scurry County and as such is responsible for Towle Memorial Park, the largest park in the city, and home to a prairie dog town similar to the one in Abilene's Redbud Park. More...
|In Utah, a Town Digs Deep to Battle Prairie Dogs
By Jim Carlton - The Wall Street Journal - 05/06/2012
There are about 2,790 humans to defend their turf in this farming town. They are up against a foe with superior numbers: 3,435 Utah prairie dogs, give or take a few pups. And the critters have the law on their side. Prairie dogs—simply "dogs" among locals—have invaded yards and lots, pockmarking lawns and gardens all around town. They have tunneled into a cemetery in a nearby town. Another indignity: The dogs' disregard for the small Parowan Airport, where they have dug tunnels under the runway, buckling it. More...
|Gas development pushing pronghorn out of vital wintering grounds
By Jeremy Hance - mongabay.com - 05/02/2012
Development of natural gas fields in Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is pushing pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) out of crucial wintering grounds, a situation that could result in a population decline according to a new study in Biological Conservation. By tracking 125 female pronghorn over five years in Wyoming, researchers found that highest quality habitat had fallen by over 80 percent in two vast gas fields on land owned by the government's Bureau of Land Management (BLM). More...
|Small burrowing owls attract big fascination
By Judie Farnsworth - Victoria Advocate - 04/15/2012
Owl - the word invokes mental images of large bodied birds gazing aloofly from high overhead. Hisses, shrieks and hoots that echo through the night produce a feeling of "Wow." But then there are burrowing owls. Their plaintive "who whoooo," produces a reaction more like, "Awww." More...
|Endangered black-footed ferret added to collection at Nature Center
By Roger Steinbrock - City of Lawrence - 04/13/2012
Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department’s Prairie Park Nature Center has received a black-footed ferret for display. The ferret was received last weekend from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center in Wellington, Colo. The ferret, named Harlem, is approximately 6 years-old. It will be off display for two weeks while it gets acclimated to its new surroundings. More...
|Crews "dust" prairie dog towns to help endangered ferrets
By Kevin Woster - Rapid City Journal - 04/04/2012
Racing their ATVs through a prairie-dog town on federal grasslands north of Badlands National Park, members of Matt Kelly’s crew lurch to brief stops at each burrow and fire blasts of white powder into the holes. Precision is important. The insecticide being fired from the end of well-aimed wands by Kelly and his crew from Gopher Chokers pest control of Scenic is helping to save an endangered species. More...
|Prairie dog transplant questioned
By The Associated Press - The Ranger - 04/03/2012
Some Campbell County residents say they are concerned about plans by the U.S. Forest Service to transplant prairie dogs from one part of the Thunder Basin National Grassland to another in northeast Wyoming. U.S. Forest Service officials propose to move prairie dogs from Weston and Converse counties, saying that the animals carry plague. They said they want to move the rodents to reduce the possibility of transmitting the disease. More...
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