Colorado County decides to feed excess prairie dogs to


Mar 11, 2001
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Boulder: Prairie Dogs Can Be Fed To Predators

16,000 Acres Designated As No Prairie Dog Areas

May 29, 2002


BOULDER, Colo. -- Boulder County has approved a new grasslands management plan that includes a provision to feed unwanted prairie dogs to black-footed ferrets and raptors.

County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved the plan proposed by Therese Glowacki, resource manager for Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department, and biologist Mark Brennan.

The county's natural grasslands are essentially full of prairie dogs, Glowacki said.

About 16,000 acres are now "no prairie dog areas," where the rodents are incompatible with agricultural leases or neighbors.

Prairie dogs from those areas will be trapped and either given live to black-footed ferret reintroduction projects or killed with carbon dioxide gas and given to raptor recovery programs.

Under the plan, six parcels of county land, comprising about 5,000 acres, have be set aside as prairie dog habitat. Those areas are full.

Prairie dogs will be relocated once land becomes available, either through purchases of new habitat or die-offs.

Commissioners also approved a plan to relocate about 50 prairie dogs from several Boulder Valley schools to county open space near Superior this summer. About 120 of the animals need to be relocated from the schools to remove the danger of children tripping on the animal's burrows.

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