Colorado

Feb 2, 2010 11:19 AM by Associated Press

Feds get low grades on treatment of prairie dogs

An environmental group has flunked one federal agency and given another a "D" on its annual report card on conservation of prairie dogs.

WildEarth Guardians releases the report on Groundhog Day to draw attention to the rodent found in the West. Prairie dogs have been eliminated from much of their historic range.

Environmentalists say the animals are important because they are a food source for other animals. Their abandoned burrows provide shelter for other wildlife.

WildEarth Guardians gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency an "F" on prairie dogs for approving the expanded use of a prairie dog poison. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service got a "D"
for deciding not to protect black-tailed prairie dogs.

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