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February 28, 2013

The HSUS and the Colorado Department of Transportation Issue Statement on Ongoing Prairie Dog Relocation Project

The Humane Society of the United States and the Colorado Department of Transportation issued a joint response to public concern about a prairie dog relocation project. CDOT is using nonlethal methods to safely relocate prairie dogs at a construction site along Highway 119 at Jay Road, in Boulder, Colo. To move the prairie dogs away from the heavy equipment, CDOT is catching them and actively relocating each one to a safer environment.

“We’re thrilled CDOT is using nonlethal means to relocate this keystone species,” said Ghia Speakman, program manager for The HSUS’ Prairie Dog Coalition. “This effort demonstrates that we can protect imperiled prairie dogs at construction sites. We support CDOT with their humane and supported approach to prairie dog management and are excited to see these animals relocated.”

“Per Colorado Department of Transportation policy, whenever possible we try to minimize our construction footprint near prairie dog colonies, and when that cannot be accomplished, CDOT tries to ensure that only minimal impacts to black-tailed prairie dogs and surround habits occur,” said Carol Parr, region 4 environmental manager for CDOT. “We are grateful to The Humane Society of the United States Prairie Dog Coalition’s past and future help with relocations.”

Prairie dogs are a key species to nine other species, including hawks, owls, foxes and ferrets, and many others depend on prairie dogs for food or their burrows for shelter.  

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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