Wildlife Protection Groups Urge City of Clovis to Overturn Decision to Kill Wildlife Colonies
Prairie Dogs in Public Park Threatened by Deadly Poison
The Humane Society of the United States: Kaitlin Sanderson,
Animal Protection of New Mexico: Phil
Carter, 505-967-5297; email@example.com
(March 4, 2013) – Wildlife protection organizations, including The Humane
Society of the United States, Prairie Dog Advocacy Watch Group, Citizens for
Prairie Dogs, People for Native Ecosystems, Animal Protection of New Mexico and
WildEarth Guardians, denounce the
City Commission of Clovis’ decision to kill prairie dogs instead of using no-cost,
non-lethal management options.
With Friday’s vote, the City Commission has set in motion
the mass extermination of hundreds of native prairie dogs with Rozol – a deadly
poison with documented secondary poisoning effects – instead of waiting until
June when relocation to a protected site could occur.
Joann Haddock, president of
Citizens for Prairie Dogs, and Susan Hubby, a Clovis resident, have offered to
relocate the prairie dogs to a confirmed, private release site in New Mexico at
no cost. This commonsense solution saves taxpayer dollars and conserves New
Mexico’s wildlife for future generations.
Taylor Jones, Endangered Species
Advocate for WildEarth Guardians, said, "This short-sighted plan to poison
prairie dogs will impoverish the park, its wildlife and local residents."
Ned Houk Memorial Park is a
protected 3,320-acre habitat of grasslands, ponds and trees in Clovis, and is
home to a diverse array of wildlife, including bison, prairie dogs and
burrowing owls. Burrowing owls are federally protected under the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act and are dependent on prairie dogs for their nesting
sites. Nonetheless, the City of Clovis has chosen to poison
the prairie dogs and purchased a large quantity of Rozol – a toxin that causes
extreme suffering, often taking up to three days for prairie dogs to die from
internal bleeding. Other animals are also vulnerable to ingesting Rozol and can
die or suffer for weeks.
Denise Saccone, president of Prairie
Dog Advocacy Watch Group, said, “Killing prairie dogs
does not solve the perceived conflict the City wants to address – long-term,
non-lethal management solutions would.”
This coalition of wildlife
protection organizations is urging the City of Clovis to reconsider its
decision and implement a long-term management plan that can address concerns of
park users, adjacent land owners and the City Commissioners.
Lindsey Sterling-Krank, director of The HSUS’ Prairie Dog
Coalition, said, “A win-win for taxpayers and for animals is right at hand – it
makes no sense for the City of Clovis to do otherwise.”
Nine different wildlife species depend on prairie dog populations
and their habitat for their survival, including hawks, owls, foxes and