APS Renewable Energy Site Prairie Dog Relocation

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aps-relocation-0Habitat Harmony was contacted by EN3, Professionals, LLC and APS to help manage a colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs living on a 10 acre site designated for a new renewable energy site in Doney Park.

Through humane trapping and relocation techniques, we attempted to remove as many of the prairie dogs living on the site as possible before construction work and ground grading began.

An abandoned prairie dog colony with pre-existing burrows located far away from development was selected as the release site for the displaced prairie dogs and permission was obtained from the land owner and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

2007 Translocation

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2007 100 7458In 2007 the City of Flagstaff built a new fire station on Highway 180 next to the building where the Grand Canyon Trust is housed. The City agreed that Habitat Harmony could capture and translocate prairie dogs at this site prior to development. Both the trapping and the sidsing methods of capture were used. It was during this project that two prairie dogs pups were captured without their mothers. Being too young to release, these two were kept and became our prairie dog ambassadors. 16 prairie dogs were released at the same Game & Fish facility as were the 2005 prairie dogs, and Habitat Harmony has been monitoring their progress.

2005 Translocation

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2005 100 1916In 2005 Habitat Harmony volunteers learned the "sudsing process" to capture prairie dogs.  Lindsey Sterling-Krank of the Prairie Dog Coalition in Boulder, Colo., assisted.  15 prairie dogs were captured at three sites and released at the Game & Fish facility east of Flagstaff.  Habitat Harmony has followed their release and is pleased to note that they have multiplied in numbers.

2003 Translocation Project

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In 2003 The Flagstaff Mall began an expansion onto 90 acres adjacent to the existing mall.  Habitat Harmony and Arizona Game & Fish cooperated to translocate 299 prairie dogs.  Many Habitat Harmony volunteers worked to accustom the prairie dogs to go into traps using peanutbutter and molasses bait.  Habitat interns observed the prairie dogs to be sure they were translocated in family groups.  Volunteers released the prairie dogs at two locations, one ranch east of town and a Game & Fish facility east of town. Westcor, Inc. and the City of Flagstaff cooperated in this large translocation.

2000 Translocation Project

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In 2000 the City of Flagstaff expanded Foxglenn Park into a wildlife corridor used by many migrating wildlife and home to a large prairie dog colony. Prior to development the City agreed to a translocation project for the prairie dogs. This project was a joint effort between Arizona Game & Fish and Habitat Harmony Inc. and was the first transloction of Gunnison prairie dogs in northern Arizona. At the same time, Coconino County developed Peaks Park near Cromer School. Habitat Harmony and Game & Fish also translocated prairie dogs from the county location. Approximately 170 prairie dogs were translocated in this project. Many Habitat volunteers observed the prairie dogs to be sure they were translocated in family groups as well as helping to trap and release them.

A Message to Humans

"I used to be a city fellow.  I grew up with the city noises of cars and trains and machines and humans.  My family lived close to downtown Flagstaff not far from the railroad tracks along Route 66.  What a busy, frightening place it was."
Read My Letter to You

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.

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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.