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White-tailed prairie dog denied Endangered Species Act protections

May 27, 2010 |  3:54 pm

Prairie DENVER — The high-altitude cousin of the black-tailed prairie dog has also been denied federal protection.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced Thursday that the white-tailed prairie dog does not merit protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The agency reached the same conclusion in December for the species' better-known cousin, the black-tailed prairie dog that dwells on the prairie and is a nuisance to most farmers and ranchers. The white-tailed prairie dog is found at altitudes above 5,000 feet in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana.

Federal wildlife authorities say the white-tailed prairie dog population "has not substantially changed" and that the critter doesn't face a significant threat from urbanization or energy development.

RELATED PRAIRIE DOG NEWS:
Bryce Canyon National Park to celebrate Utah prairie dog
Cash for prairie dogs? New plan could put critters on friendlier terms with Utah farmers, ranchers

-- Associated Press

Photo: A white-tailed prairie dog. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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