The poisons Rozol and Kaput-D are commonly used by ranchers and land developers to kill black-tailed prairie dogs. These deadly blood-thinning chemicals not only cause a slow, agonizing death to the intended victims, a death that is often drawn out over several weeks, but also present a serious threat to other species, including endangered black-footed ferrets and protected bald and golden eagles, burrowing owls, and ferruginous hawks, that prey on the rodents or occupy their abandoned burrows.
Although demonized unfairly by ranchers, the black-tailed prairie dog is an intelligent, sociable ground squirrel that is a beneficial, even vital, species for plains and prairie ecosystems. This ground squirrel is considered a "keystone species" by ecologists, due to the numerous other species that depend on it for survival. Besides providing food for numerous predators, prairie dogs' burrowing activity churns and mixes the soil and provides channels for water, aiding in the growth of grasses and other prairie plants. Their abandoned burrows provide homes for many other species.
Over the past century, the black-tailed prairie dog has disappeared from 98 percent of the land that it inhabited. The reduction of this species has brought about the near-extinction of the black-footed ferret. Now mass poisoning by ranchers and land developers on the plains states is seriously threatening the remaining prairie dogs. Tell the EPA that the prairie dog has suffered enough, and that its loss would be our loss.
To Lisa P Jackson, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Dear Ms. Jackson,
We the undersigned request the banning of the lethal chemicals Rozol (chlorophacinone) and Kaput-D (diphacinone) for the poisoning of prairie dogs. Currently the use of these chemicals is permitted in ten states. We oppose the use of these poisons on prairie dogs for the following reasons:
The Environmental Protection Agency has recently affirmed its approval for the use of these chemicals. We believe that this ruling was a mistake, and respectfully request that you reconsider.