Chapter

The Last Pariah

JOE C. TRUETT

in Grass

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258396
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944527 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520258396.003.0012
The Last Pariah

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The black-tailed prairie dog, the most abundant of four prairie dog species in the United States, had shrunk in number to perhaps 2 percent of its original population and continued to decline because of plague and poisoning. This chapter describes the attempts to protect and conserve prairie dogs. The National Wildlife Federation, a respected mainstream conservation group, had submitted a petition to list the black-tailed prairie dog as a threatened species. Most states agreed to work in a loose organization called the Interstate Black-tailed Prairie Dog Conservation Team. However, campaigns about the prairie dog's destructiveness sold their eradication to the public. In 2004 an incumbent U.S. senator from South Dakota fell to a challenger who built a platform partly on prairie dog control. That same year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dropped the black-tailed prairie dog from its list of candidate species.

Keywords: black-tailed prairie dog; prairie dog; National Wildlife Federation; Interstate Black-tailed Prairie Dog Conservation Team; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Chapter.  4350 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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