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Private Stewardship Grant Program Project to Benefit the Gunnison’s Prairie Dog in New Mexico
Southwest Region, January 30, 2006
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  A private ranch in Colfax County, New Mexico, is the recipient of a Private Stewardship Grant to establish approximately 9 new Gunnison’s prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni) colonies, at an estimated rate of 3 colonies per year for 3 years.  The project area encompasses a series of meadows surrounded largely by ponderosa pine forests on private lands about 35 miles southwest of Raton, New Mexico.  More than 10,000 acres of unoccupied suitable habitat exists in the project area.  Neither colony expansion nor prairie dog dispersal will impact other landowners. 

The proposed work items are:

            (1) Establishment of 3 new prairie dog colonies annually in unoccupied habitat,

            (2) Monitor the new colonies to reduce losses to predation and measure survival

            (3) Annually assess risks of plague by analyzing blood samples from local predators.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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