What, no love for prairie dogs? Image via: Umschauen on Flickr.com
Geez louise, could that sound any more gross or excruciating? Apparently pesticides approved by the EPA for ridding prairies of their dogs are both a horrible way to die and also then infecting other endangered species. Now several groups have filed a lawsuit to do something about it.Rozol and Kaput-D (sounds like the names of two comic villains) are two blood-thinning poisons used to eradicate prairie dogs. The poisons cause the little dogs to slowly bleed to death, thus weakening them and making it easier for other animals to catch them and eat them. Sounds pretty gruesome.
But here is where this gift keeps on giving: since the drugs can linger in the prairie dog's body or carcass for weeks, anything that comes along and eats them also gets the poison in their body. In this case, threatened and endangered species are inadvertently harmed. Black-footed ferrets are one species that predators of prairie dogs and thus also getting death by poison. Swift foxes, golden and bald eagles, American badgers, and ferruginous hawks are also all at risk.
Defenders of Wildlife and Audubon of Kansas have filed a lawsuit with the EPA to get them to stop using these blood-thinning pesticides on prairie dogs. The Fish & Wildlife Service have also repeatedly requested that there be some agreement with the EPA on how to better regulate the use of these poisons but nothing has happened to date. One or both of these chemicals are allowed to be used in the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.