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CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good
ABOUT ACTION PROGRAMS SPECIES NEWSROOM PUBLICATIONS SUPPORT

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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.

Black-tailed prairie dog photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth, USFWS