This is a photo of a tiny prairie dog community on 104th Ave, next to the Albertson's chain grocery store. This is one of the lucky little groups who have only been rounded up into an 'open space'. Many are gassed to death in their little homes for the convenience of humans' urban sprawl and the clearing of grazing land.
Read more about prairie dog management and human reasons for exterminating them HERE. I especially recommend the last article on the list from the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, dated 3 years ago. I believe putting beef producers (and for that matter, oil companies) in charge of any part of wildlife welfare is unethical; in this particular case, these are people who "represent the interest of Colorado's cattle industry". While I agree that they have their own interests to look after in this situation, where are the folk representing the interests of the ferrets and prairie dogs? Someone completely outside the beef industry needs some level of jurisdiction; what is to stop the cattle ranchers from killing the white-tailed dogs as well if there is no one to regulate them? Regular bi-monthly surveys of prairie dog habitats on beef producers' lands by government consultants should be mandatory. In the meantime, the ghost of the black footed ferret haunts the hapless cattle in their pastures, while prairie dog populations are checked only by humans' whose best interest is to exterminate them.
Here are some other links:
Listen my dears, and listen closely. So that you can enjoy all the convenience and comfort of your modern day life of iPhones and fast food wrappers, others (and by others, I mean other species and your own kind) must thin out and die out, or live with the inconveniences. Think about that and how disconnected we are from what is really happening outside our computers and television sets. And have the humility to feel guilty.