WILDFIRE

Once endangered, Utah prairie dog population booms

Aug 9, 2023, 12:30 PM

Prairie dog population...

(Utah Division of Wildlife)

(Utah Division of Wildlife)

SALT LAKE CITY — After decades of being endangered, Utah’s prairie dog population is rapidly growing. The population saw a 50%  increase from last year growing to 69,000. 

Patrick Anderson, a Utah Prairie Dog Management Biologist with the Department of Wildlife Resources said they have been busy trapping the animals on graveyards and farming land.

“We’ve trapped 750 prairie dogs so far in Iron County alone, and last year in total we trapped 838 prairie dogs. So, we’ve trapped in one month what we trapped in three months last year,” said Anderson.

In the 80s, the species went from endangered to threatened. They are still protected under the Endangered Species Act, even with a growing prairie dog population.

“The numbers have actually been in decline for a little bit due to drought, so the water really helped out the prairie dogs.” said Anderson. The wet winter increased vegetation creating more food for the prairie dogs.

According to the DWS, the animals are caught using non-lethal traps and relocated to protected properties.

Related:

DWR provides archery safety reminders ahead of fall hunt

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Wildfire

Rural wildlife firefighters, "Hot Shots"...

Michael Camit

Utah is struggling to retain its rural ‘Hotshots’

Filling jobs of rural wildlife firefighters can be difficult due to the cost of living according to the Utah Division of Forestry, Fires and State Lands.

2 days ago

fire moab...

Adam Small

Utah receives more federal wildfire prevention funding

Three Utah organizations will receive more than $5.5 million in federal wildfire prevention and defense funding.

6 days ago

Capt. Tom Simons talks potential wildfires...

Alex Cabrero

SLCFD is preparing now for potential wildfires in the future

Even with above average snowfall this year, firefighters in Salt Lake City are working to get ahead of potential wildfires.

13 days ago

A snow-dusted peak in the Manti-La Sal National Forest...

Mariah Maynes

Manti-La Sal National Forest officials announce prescribed burns

Forest fire officials announced three prescribed burns for areas within the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

29 days ago

Wildfire Academy students dig a handline, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Prescott, Ariz. Forecasters ar...

TY ONEIL Associated Press

U.S. wildfires are prompting changes in firefighting workforce

Forecasters are warning that the potential for wildfires will be above normal in some areas across the United States over the coming months as temperatures rise and rain becomes sparse.

1 month ago

texas wildfires...

Associated Press

Wildfire grows into one of largest in Texas history as flames menace multiple small towns

Known as the Smokehouse Creek Fire, the largest blaze expanded to more than 1,300 square miles and jumped into parts of neighboring Oklahoma.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Once endangered, Utah prairie dog population booms