Conserving Black-tailed Prairie Dogs and Associated Wildlife
AOK is an uncompromised leader for the conservation of prairie dogs and associated wildlife in the central Great Plains, as well as an organization unparalleled in support for landowners who want to protect and conserve these and other native prairie species on their land.
Black-tailed Prairie Dogs and American Bison were two keystone and foundational species in Great Plains prior to European settlement. They dramatically influenced the grasslands and associated wildlife populations. To this day, substantial prairie dog colony complexes provide the prey base and/or habitat needs of many other species. Burrowing Owls reside and nest in the burrows. Ferruginous Hawks and Golden Eagles, Swift Foxes and Black-footed Ferrets are largely to almost entirely dependent on prairie dogs for food. Unfortunately, antiquated state statutes and county governments promote, even mandate, eradication of prairie dogs on private land—often against the will of landowners. Audubon of Kansas has and continues to be a stalwart opponent of unreasonable eradication statutes and regulations imposed on landowners, and an advocate of restoration and proper management of prairie dog colonies on suitable private and public lands.
This past summer, AOK led a partnership of dedicated individuals and organizations to rescue and relocate over 200 prairie dogs from Nebraska's easternmost prairie dog colony to the Hutton Niobrara Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary in northern Nebraska, owned and managed by AOK. Learn more in the video and articles below.
Return of Prairie Dogs and Associated Wildlife: Video and Update, Sept. 14, 2018
Your contributions will help to ensure that these prairie dogs continue to thrive and AOK can continue to fight for the conservation of prairie dogs and associated wildlife and habitat, as well as the rights of landowners to choose to coexist with other species on their land.
Did you know? At the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition, there were likely more than five billion prairie dogs living across the Great Plains, but their population has since drastically declined by 98 percent (Hoogland 2006).