WILDLIFE

Utah prairie dogs’ comeback forces change to state management

Jan 4, 2023, 1:29 PM

Prairie Dogs...

FILE: In this Aug. 6, 2015 photo, a prairie dog nibbles on a bit of zucchini at it's new colony after being trucked some 25 miles away from Cedar City, Utah. (Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

(Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Prairie dogs, found only in the southwestern part of the state, are making a comeback. Consequently, the Utah Wildlife Board of the Division of Wildlife Resources has approved changes to how it manages the animal.  

Populations of the Utah prairie dog have increased 3-fold since they were listed as endangered in 1973. 

The DWR’s new plan allows for the agency to monitor the animals’ recovery, but also allows prairie dogs to be removed if their behavior conflicts with the needs of property owners.

The rule only goes into effect once the prairie dogs are de-listed. 

The Utah Wildlife Board also made some minor adjustments to rules involving bear hunting.  Now, all hunters must complete an orientation course and the DWR must update its bear pursuit policy. 

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Utah prairie dogs’ comeback forces change to state management