Friends of Animals is outraged that wildlife managers under the Trump administration are moving to loosen endangered-species protections for Utah prairie dogs following our 2017 victory that secured those protections. Under the new plan, people could essentially eradicate prairie dogs to make way for development projects.
We have submitted comments about U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s new plan.
Our main concerns are that the plan:
● gives counties the authority to kill prairie dogs on private property
● it allows for prairie dogs to be moved, however 90 percent of prairie dogs will not survive past the first year they have been moved and two-thirds of the new sites fail completely
●it fails to consider the impact that the killing or relocating will have on the connectivity of prairie dog habitat
●there is no indication there is even sufficient suitable land to move the prairie dogs to
You can read FoA’s full comments here: FoA Comment Draft Range Wide General Conservation Plan for Utah Prairie Dogs:
FoA’s 2017 victory shot down a previous approach that said the federal government had to first demonstrate that a species had value in interstate commerce before it could protect the species under the ESA.
“The reality is that the Utah prairie dog, like many other animals, is worthy of protection from human destruction because they are unique individuals capable of living meaningful lives,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals. “These are some of the most intelligent, social animals in the world. Moreover, the Utah prairie dog’s value in maintaining the health of western grassland ecosystems is immeasurable.”