Ask New Mexico Officials to Reconsider Prairie Dog Poisoning

Target: Joe Thomas, City of Clovis, New Mexico Manager

Goal: Implement a non-lethal management program to stop poisoning prairie dogs.

In efforts to reduce the population of prairie dogs at Ned Houk Park in the City of Clovis, officials in New Mexico have approved a plan involving the use of rodenticide. Although it is important to manage the prairie dog population to maintain balance within the ecosystem, culling the population through the application of poison is dangerous to children, pets, and non-target wildlife. Urge the City Manager Joe Thomas to reconsider the poisoning plan and opt for non-lethal management instead.

The City of Clovis plans to poison the prairie dogs using Rozol, an extremely dangerous toxin. Rozol causes severe internal bleeding and does not necessarily kill the animal immediately. Prairie dogs that ingest Rozol may suffer up to three days before succumbing to the toxin. This cruel way of managing the prairie dog population is inhumane and merciless. There is also the concern of other species feeding on prairie dogs and becoming poisoned too, as Rozol can lead to secondary poisoning. In addition, if the poisonous baits are left unattended or accidentally misplaced, it is likely that children, pets, or other animals will come into direct contact with Rozol. The implementation and maintenance of this program is also costly, and the city has set aside a budget of $25,000.

The concern with prairie dog overpopulation is that the species is destroying parkland and adjacent cropland. Prairie dogs live in burrows and it is estimated that there are 50,000 burrows on the 3,200-acre land. This species also feeds on the vegetation in the park. By constantly digging burrows and eating grass, prairie dogs may cause erosion. However, prairie dogs are not the only animals in the park. The park is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, including burrowing owls, hawks, foxes, and ferrets. These species, and several others, depend on prairie dog populations for survival. If the prairie dog population is poisoned, then many other animals will suffer.

There is a non-lethal alternative to managing the prairie dog population. Prairie dog colonies can be relocated to other sites in New Mexico. This cruelty-free solution would save taxpayer dollars, conserve New Mexico’s wildlife, and reduce the risk of accidental contact with Rozol. Sign the petition below to urge the City of Clovis to retract its prairie dog poisoning plan and choose non-lethal management instead.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Thomas,

I recently heard about the city’s costly plan to poison prairie dogs. Although I understand the importance of managing the prairie dog overpopulation in Ned Houk Park, I would like to urge you to consider a non-lethal program instead. As you may know, Rozol, the rodenticide that the city plans on using, is extremely dangerous and cruel. Prairie dogs that ingest this rodenticide will experience severe internal bleeding that may cause suffering for up to 3 days. This is not the way to control prairie dog populations. Other animal species that feed on prairie dogs may become poisoned as well, since Rozol can lead to secondary poisoning. In addition, children, pets, and other animals are all at risk of coming into direct contact with the poisonous baits, which will be placed all around the park.

Citizens of Clovis have suggested a non-lethal alternative to managing the prairie dog population. Prairie dog colonies can be relocated to other habitats in New Mexico.  This cruelty-free solution would conserve New Mexico’s wildlife species, save taxpayer dollars, and eliminate the risk of accidental contact with rodenticide toxins. Please eliminate the prairie dog poisoning plan and implement a humane method instead.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons

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2 Comments

  1. J Davidson says:

    This method will poison the food chain and could end up in our food.

  2. How about we LEAVE THEM ALONE?? This planet is not ours to hoard dammit

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