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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Colorado Front Range Prairie Dog Technical Workshop: an overview and summary

  • Author(s): Witmer, Gary W.
  • Hoffmann, Brian T.
  • et al.

The 2½-day Colorado Front Range Prairie Dog Technical Workshop was held in Fort Collins, Colorado, February 27-March 1, 2001. The workshop attracted about 250 attendees, mostly government personnel. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) present numerous challenges to landowners and resource managers because they are considered a rare and important ecosystem component, but at the same time they can cause various kinds of damage and pose a disease hazard to humans and their domestic animals. Invited speakers updated the participants on the topics of prairie dog biology and ecology, legal status and distribution, socio-economic issues, management techniques and strategies, and current research. Special topics such as plague management and black-footed ferret re-introductions were also addressed. Several panel discussions on management challenges and options were held. Various perspectives were presented and there was considerable interaction on these volatile issues. There was a field trip to local prairie dog colonies to view and discuss conflicts and management options. In this paper, we summarize some of the key topics and perspectives brought up at the Workshop, in order to provide a broad synopsis of this highly contentious arena of human-wildlife conflict.

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