Tell the EPA to Stop Poisoning Prairie Dogs

Target: Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Do not allow the cruel poisoning of prairie dogs and other wildlife

Last year in June, a federal judge ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated federal law by registering and approving the use of rodenticide Rozol before first consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Rozol contains the dangerous and harmful chemical chlorophacinone, whose known effects negatively impact wildlife. The courts found the EPA guilty of wrongdoing, yet this chemical is still being used today.

Prairie dogs are burrowing rodents that live in North America’s grasslands, living on a diet consisting of grasses and hay. They are considered to be a keystone species because they are the primary diet of several animals, such as black-footed ferrets, swift foxes, golden eagles, and owls, to name a few.  Their burrows are also used by and relied upon by the mountain plover and the burrowing owl. Poisoning prairie dogs indirectly affects several other species and their habitats.

Rozol and Kaput-D are two rodenticides currently targeting prairie dogs. Barbaric and cruel, they cause an animal to slowly bleed to death, sometimes taking weeks at a time. Because of this drawn out death process, predatory animals and/or birds will eat an infected prairie dog or its carcass, getting poisoned themselves. Animals can also become poisoned from exposure to a poisoned burrow. The black-footed ferret is one of the most critically endangered mammals in the U.S. and eats prairie dogs as its food source.  FWS fears that using these rodenticides could damage ferret recovery and also kill migratory raptors. According to Bryan Arroyo, the assistant director for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Fisheries and Habitat Conservation, prairie dog poisoning was a major factor in the decline of the ferrets, through both decline of the prairie dogs and inadvertent poisoning of ferrets. In the article “Doggone” by Ted Williams,  “Ferruginous hawks, golden eagles, bald eagles, owls, magpies, turkey vultures, badgers, swift foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and grain eaters like wild turkeys and red-winged blackbirds have been turning up dead around Rozol treatment sites, and while some carcasses have yet to be tested, lethal concentrations of Rozol are being found in ones that have been.

The U.S. FWS has already advised the EPA to rescind or disapprove Rozol and Kaput-D because they contain two dangerous chemicals, chlorophacone and diphacinone, both known to negatively impact wildlife.  Please sign the petition below and send a message to EPA to respect federal guidelines and to protect our critically valuable wildlife.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Environmental Protection Agency,

Rozol and Kaput-D both contain dangerous chemicals that have been proven to harm wildlife. Rozol is already being used to poison prairie dogs, causing them to slowly bleed to death after many weeks. In that time and for weeks afterwards, critically endangered species such as the black-footed ferret and several other species will eat them and be poisoned as well.

The continuous use of these poisons not only lowers the prairie dog’s population, but is inadvertently lowering the endangered black-footed ferret and other animals whose main food source is the prairie dog. Please rescind Rozol’s registration and withdraw Kaput-D’s application until further review with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Please stop poisoning our wildlife and come up with a more acceptable solution to dealing with prairie dogs that will not destroy and further damage our eco-system.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit via Flickr:  Jellaluna

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One Comment

  1. Fran Fulwiler says:

    The poisoning of this keystone prey species is fatal to many other animals in the ecosystem, and must be stopped in order to preserve and protect our public lands.

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