A Non-Lethal Management Guide for Gunnison’s Prairie Dogs

Print Email


Gunnison’s prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni)—a native to the Four Corners region—is a keystone species whose burrowing and feeding habits keep prairie grasses healthy and help rainwater infiltrate deeply into the soil. Prairie dog burrows provide shelter for other species like burrowing owls, small mammals, snakes, lizards, and invertebrates. Prairie dogs are an important food source for many animals including hawks and the endangered black-footed ferret. Despite all their benefits, their burrowing and foraging can be, or perceived to be, incompatible with certain human land uses.

This handbook is a summary of humane, non-lethal methods for removing prairie dogs and preventing future colonization by using barriers. The methods described in this handbook have been developed by professionals with extensive knowledge of prairie dog natural history and hands-on experience helping landowners to create spaces free of prairie dogs. Methods are substantiated, but not scientifically proven, by the experiences of those interviewed. This handbook is an effort to provide a compilation of the best information currently available.



On-screen version for Tablets, Smartphones, and Desktops:

Download Now (6.9 MB PDF)

Print at home version formatted for 8.5 x 11 paper:

Download Now (36.3 MB PDF)

High Resolution 6 x 9 Version for Retina Screens and Print:

Download Now (31.6 MB PDF)

RDT Field Notes Spreadsheet

Download Now (7kb XLSX)


This project made possible by a grant from Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage Fund and the City of Flagstaff.

Communicating with Creatures

Print Email

Rebroadcast with permission from CBC TV, Habitat Harmony, Inc.

Burrowing Owls effected by Priairie Dog Poisons

Print Email

by Alan Wilson - (Washington, D.C., October 16 , 2012)  Defenders of Wildlife, American Bird Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Audubon of Kansas have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject an application by Scimetrics to use the rodenticide Kaput-D for the control of black-tailed prairie dogs in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

The groups say that because Kaput-D, which contains the anticoagulant diphacinone that causes poisoned animals to bleed to death, is not selective in the animals it impacts, it has a high probability of killing non-target wildlife, including species protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Black-tailed prairie dogs are regularly exterminated from ranchland as pests, primarily because they are thought to compete with cattle for forage. Their populations have been reduced by as much as 95 percent of their historical numbers and continue to decline.

Living with Venomous Reptiles

Print Email

Living with Venomous Reptiles brochure

One of Habitat Harmony, Inc's newest board members Dr. Erika Nowak, a renown rattlesnake bologist, brings a new area of expertise to Habitat Harmony.

Erika is passionate about using the results of scientific research to teach people to live in harmony with venomous predators and other wildlife. Attached is the "Living with Venomous Reptiles" brochure.

The “Living with Venomous Reptiles” brochure, produced by the Tucson Herpetological Society in cooperation with the Arizona Game & Fish Department, was designed as an educational tool to help acquaint the public with basic information on venomous reptiles in Arizona. The brochure's production was funded with a grant from the Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage Fund. The Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage Fund receives its money from the Arizona Lottery.

Download a pdf copy of the "Living with Venomous Reptiles" brochure.

Download a pdf fact sheet about the Arizona Black Rattlesnake.

Download a pdf fact sheet of "Reducing Rattlesnake - Human Conflicts."

Our Prairie Dog Neighbors

Print Email


“Our Prairie Dog Neighbors” brochure, produced by Habitat Harmony, Inc. in cooperation with Northern Arizona University and the Arizona Game & Fish Department, was designed as an educational tool to help acquaint the public with basic information on Gunnison's prairie dogs. The brochure's production was funded with a grant from the Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage Fund. The Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage Fund receives its money from the Arizona Lottery.

Click on the pages below to download a pdf copy of the current brochure.

Tutored By Prairie Dogs

Print Email

by Sherry Golden

I have two pet prairie dogs even though I am against ownership of exotic pets. I work with a local animal activist group called Habitat Harmony, Inc. Habitat's projects include relocating prairie dogs from areas where they are not wanted. This past summer we captured prairie dogs from the site where the new city fire station would be built.

Habitat also has an education program, taking presentations on the prairie ecosystem to young people and adults. We had thought that if the right circumstances ever materialized, we might keep a couple of prairie dogs for the education programs. They would be scientific props, visual aids, teaching tools. To that end, I obtained a Wildlife Holder's Permit with the Arizona Game & Fish Department. Then this summer we caught 2 very young juveniles without adults, and knowing that we could not release them, we decided to keep them. Of course, for educational purposes.

Ambassador Feisty Britches, a female, and Mr. Bo Jangles, a male, moved into my home. And then the education began.I was the one being educated!

Prairie Dog Life

Click on the burrow images to find out more.

Nursing Chamber

A mother keeps her young pups safe while the other Prairie Dogs investigate the snake.

Entering the Burrow

A prairie dog hears an emergency cry of "snake" and goes to investigate.

Listening chamber

A prairie dog sits listening just beneath the surface of the ground.

The Rattlesnake

The rattlesnake found a prairie dog burrow to sleep in but has been discovered by the prairie dogs.

Close Panel

Donate Today!

To make a one-time contribution to Habitat Harmony, Inc. you may donate securely using PayPal's encrypted server by filling out the form below. You do not need to have a paypal account to complete this transaction.
Amount: $
Habitat Harmony, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization (Federal Tax ID# 86-0994815). Contributions to Habitat Harmony, Inc. are deductible for federal income tax purposes pursuant to Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. Please consult with your tax advisor.