Right now, America’s remaining prairie dogs are being poisoned and suffering horrible deaths, slowly bleeding to death – and their agony can last for weeks.
The cause of their deaths: the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) shocking approval of the use of two incredibly toxic poisons known to cause deaths well beyond their intended use -- Rozol and the morbidly named Kaput-D.
Prairie dogs are an essential part of healthy prairie ecosystems; they are a food source for predators; they maintain short vegetation; and they dig burrows that many other animals also use. And these keystone mammals already have been eradicated from more than 95 percent of their historic range across the Great Plains.
Scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have questioned the EPA’s approval of Rozol and Kaput-D, citing serious concerns about the effects of these poisons on our remaining prairie ecosystems -- and especially on highly endangered black footed ferrets and imperiled swift fox, burrowing owls, bald and golden eagles, and other wildlife - all linked to prairie dogs in the food chain.
Yet, these poisons are still being used, threatening many of the imperiled prairie birds and mammals that are already on the edge of extinction.
Rozol and Kaput-D can take weeks to kill a poisoned prairie dog, making them very easy prey, as they become disoriented and slowly lose bodily function.
And, because these deadly toxins can linger in a prairie dog’s carcass for weeks, animals like black-footed ferrets and birds that feed on dead or dying prairie dogs, or live in contaminated burrows (as burrowing owls often do), can also inadvertently become poisoned and share the same grim fate.
And what about our water tables – Do we really want to drink, or bathe, or eat fish, or spray our fruits and vegetables, with water being laced with these extremely deadly toxins?
Our Annihilation of Life, just never ends.