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Latest Prairie dog Stories

2008-08-31 12:05:00

By Chet Brokaw Associated Press INTERIOR, S.D. -- On the grasslands a few miles from the pinnacles and spires of Badlands National Park, federal wildlife officials have been waging a war since spring to save one of the nation's largest colonies of endangered black-footed ferrets. The deadly disease sylvatic plague was discovered in May in a huge prairie dog town in the Conata Basin. The black-tailed prairie dog is the main prey of ferrets, and the disease quickly killed up to a third of the...

2008-08-24 15:00:00

Jeffrey Harsh admits he would try just about anything to save the prairie dog. Not content to sit and watch counties and landowners across the plains wipe the land clean of the critters, he wants to do something - plead the case of the prairie dog, if you will. His recent plea has some wildlife preservationists nodding their heads in agreement, but other folks are chuckling in their chairs. The theory - espoused by others over the years - is that by burrowing the land above one of the...

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2008-07-17 10:05:00

Endangered black-footed ferrets, like children, aren't exactly lining up to be stuck with a vaccine, but in an effort to help control an extensive outbreak of plague in South Dakota, some of the ferrets are getting dosed with a vaccine given by biologists. This is the first time the vaccine has been used during a major plague epizootic "” an animal version of a human epidemic. Sylvatic plague is an infectious bacterial disease usually transmitted from animal to animal by fleas. This...

2008-07-16 09:00:44

By Jim Robbins A colony that contains nearly half of the black-footed ferrets in the United States and that biologists say is critical to the long- term health of the species has been struck by plague, which may have killed a third of the 300 animals. A much-publicized endangered species in the 1970s that had dwindled to 18 animals, the black-footed ferret had struggled to make a comeback and had been doing relatively well for decades. But plague, always a threat to the ferrets and their...

2008-07-15 09:00:44

By Michelle Dynes By Michelle Dynes mdynes@wyomingnews.com CHEYENNE - Plague is threatening black-footed ferrets in South Dakota and putting local biologists on alert for signs of the disease in Wyoming. About 10,000 acres of prairie dog colonies have been infected in South Dakota's Conata Basin, tainting the endangered ferrets' favorite meal, said Martin Grenier, non-game mammal biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. It's still too early to calculate the impacts to...

2008-06-24 09:02:46

By Geoffrey Fattah Deseret News Like Bill Murray in the movie "Caddyshack," Cedar City's fight to remove the endangered Utah prairie dog from its golf course will continue, a federal judge ruled Monday. After hearing legal arguments U.S. District Judge Dee Benson denied a motion by the Forest Guardians and Utah Environmental Congress for an injunction against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The group wanted to stop the federal government from issuing permits to allow city workers to...

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2006-11-29 15:00:00

By MARGARET EBRAHIM As the rising sun danced across Florida's coastal waters, government workers in shorts and T-shirts knelt in a grassy island field and plucked wriggling rats from traps laid the night before. These weren't just any rats. They were 3-pound, 35-inch-long African behemoths. They squirmed as the workers, wearing protective gloves, removed green radio collars that had been tracking the rodents' movements. All 18 of the animals were carted away for research. Darin Carroll...

2005-08-08 10:46:15

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 2003 outbreak of monkeypox in the United States has helped prove that smallpox vaccinations can protect for decades, U.S. researchers said on Monday. The study could help officials trying to come up with a plan for mass vaccination against the often deadly smallpox virus and its relatives, should such a virus ever be used in a biological attack. The researchers found three people who were evidently infected by the monkeypox virus, spread mostly by pet prairie dogs...

2005-07-18 04:43:09

ST. LOUIS -- An outbreak of 72 cases of monkeypox in the United States during the summer of 2003 didn't produce a single fatality, even though the disease usually kills 10 percent of those infected. Why did none of the patients die? New research from Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center and several partner institutions may provide an answer. In this month's issue of Virology, researcher and senior author Mark Buller, Ph.D., from Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center and...

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2005-02-15 13:31:31

INTERIOR, S.D. (AP) -- Jerry Heinrichs says that because of the long-running drought across the West, his cattle had to compete with prairie dogs for the grass. And the prairie dogs won. Across his ranch and other swaths of both private and government-owned grassland in southwestern South Dakota, about 50 miles east of Mount Rushmore, little remains but bare dirt, stones, prairie dog mounds and the burrowing rodents that live under them. Heinrichs mostly blames the federal government, which...


Latest Prairie dog Reference Libraries

Black-tailed Prairie Dog, Cynomys ludovicianus
2012-07-25 06:59:18

The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is native to the United States, occurring in the Great Plains to both the border of Canada and Mexico. Its range includes areas in Mexico, but no longer includes Arizona. This species was one of two prairie dog species to be described by Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition. It prefers a habitat within grasslands, but their habitat choices do depend on soil type, rainfall, slope angles, and vegetation cover. The black-tailed prairie...

Mexican Prairie Dog, Cynomys mexicanus
2012-07-22 13:09:39

The Mexican prairie dog (Cynomys mexicanus) is a rodent that is native to Mexico. It is related to squirrels and chipmunks. These prairie dogs prefer to burrow in soil without rocks on plains, and can live at altitudes between 5,250 and 7,200 feet. Its northern range includes San Luis Potosi and its southern range includes areas of Coahuila. The Mexican prairie dog can reach an average body length of up to seventeen inches, and an average weight of 2.2 pounds. The overall fur color is...

White Tailed Prairie Dog, Cynomys leucurus
2012-04-23 07:58:25

The white tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) is located in western Colorado, western Wyoming, and in small areas in southern Montana and eastern Utah.  In Wyoming, where the largest populations are located, they are colloquially called “chiselers”. The white tailed prairie dog is tannish brown in color, with a white tipped tail and large eyes. Above and below each eye is a dark cheek patch.  They live in a generally higher altitude than other prairie dog species, at 5,000 to 10,000...

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2006-12-12 14:39:19

The prairie dog (Cynomys) is a small, burrowing rodent native to the grasslands of North America. This stout-bodied rodent will grow to be between 12 and 16 inches (30 and 40 cm) long, including its short tail. They are found throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In the United States, prairie dogs are primarily found west of the Mississippi River. They have also been introduced into a few eastern locales. Biology and behavior The highly social prairie dogs live in large...

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2005-06-02 10:55:54

Prairie dogs native to both North and Central America are small stout-bodied burrowing rodents with shallow cheek pouches. An average size is 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) long. In the United States prairie dogs are primarily found west of the Mississippi River, but they have been introduced into a few eastern locales. All are herbivores, and in settled regions they sometimes damage crops severely. They have been eliminated from certain areas of the Great Plains where ranchers regard them...

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