Target: Val Matheson, City of Boulder Wildlife Coordinator
Goal: Relocate prairie dogs before developing land instead of feeding them to birds of prey.
A large colony of prairie dogs may be captured and fed to birds of prey, also known as raptors. We need to take action in order to ensure that these innocent animals will be saved.
Land developer Bruce Dierking has filed a permit with the City of Boulder’s Urban Wildlife Development that would allow the animals to be caught and eradicated by fall even though it was indicated by the organization’s coordinator, Val Matheson, that the city has 16 acres where the animals could be relocated. Although Dierking has said that he will give $5,000 to anyone who is willing to undertake this task, he still has not revoked his kill permit.
Relocating prairie dogs is essential for helping local ecosystems to thrive. They are a keystone species, which means that the survival of approximately 150 other types of animals greatly depends on how well prairie dogs are doing. They are also an important food source for other animals, such as coyotes and the black-footed ferret, an animal that is critically endangered. Relocating these prairie dogs to the available 16 acres will therefore improve the surrounding environment.
Demand that these animals be safely moved before any construction takes place. Killing harmless prairie dogs when the problem can be easily solved is both unethical and unnecessary.
Dear Coordinator Matheson,
You recently received a permit request from a developer who asked permission for prairie dogs to be captured and fed to raptors. If these animals are not safely relocated to another area, the surrounding environment will likely falter.
As you stated in an article, there are 16 non-developed acres in Boulder, Colorado where the animals could potentially be relocated. Because this is the case, Bruce Dierking’s permit which requests these animals be captured and killed should be denied.
Furthermore, since prairie dogs are a keystone species, many animals rely on their presence. They provide food for a variety of animals, including coyotes and the critically endangered black-footed ferret. Relocating these animals therefore makes much more sense than viciously killing them.
For these reasons, I strongly encourage you to deny any and all permits that would allow for the eradication of these animals and to do everything in your power to ensure that they are relocated to a safe area before construction begins. Killing the prairie dogs will only ensure that many other animals will also greatly suffer.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: April King