ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROFILE
PROTECTION STATUS: Not listed
PETITIONED: 1998, National Wildlife Federation
RANGE: East of the continental divide in the states of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska
THREATS: Poisoning, shooting, habitat destruction, disease
POPULATION TREND: Once one of the most abundant North American mammals, black-tailed prairie dogs were historically found in suitable habitats across the continent. Individual colonies may have numbered in the hundreds of millions, with one colony reported to have numbered roughly 400 million individuals. After intentional eradication and habitat destruction, colonies are now much smaller and found in only isolated patches of still-viable habitat. Recent estimates place the total population at around 10 to 20 million individuals, a roughly 95 percent reduction compared to historic numbers.