We ask that South Dakota be dis-allowed to poision praire dogs in favor of relocting them. Survival of the prairie dog is critical to the continued existence of the prairie ecosystem, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world.
The prairie dog is a recognized keystone (or integral) species of the short -grass prairie ecosystem. They contribute to the lives of the other mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects of the prairie, by providing habitat and food. Abandoned burrows are frequently used as homes by burrowing owls, white-tailed rabbits, badgers, weasels, snakes, and even foxes. Prairie dogs' churning activities aerate the soil to allow for more water penetration, while their nitrogen-rich dung improves the quality of the soil and surrounding vegetation.
As a prey base, the prairie dog supports a wide variety of species. The swift fox, the coyote, weasels, snakes, hawks, eagles, and the endangered black-footed ferret are just a few of the predators who rely on prairie dogs for food.
It should go without saying, that if a poisioned praire dog has been the prey of an endangered species, the endangered species will be in effect, eating poision.
South Dakota Department of Agriculture
523 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Deputy Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks
Washington, D.C. Office
555 Eleventh Street, NW
Washington DC 20004-1304