About this Collection

Survey protocol information and resources for the Utah Ecological Services Field Office.

Utah Prairie Dog Survey Training

Join us for June 2024 Utah Prairie Dog Surveyor Training! We are in the process of updating all the information, but the basics for registration are listed below:

Training Basics 

Dates: June 3rd and June 4th 2024. Monday 6/3 will be an in-person, all-day classroom session held in Cedar City, Utah at Festival Hall.  Tuesday 6/4 will be an all-day field day in the surrounding habitat areas within the range of the species.   

Registration: Please register for the training by emailing your full name, affiliation, and contact information (including phone number and email) to ritamay_reyna@fws.gov.  Please include "Utah Prairie Dog Surveyor Training Registration" in the email subject line. Registration is limited. Registered students will be informed of enrollment status in mid May.  

Questions: For registration questions, please contact RitaMay Reyna at ritamay_reyna@fws.gov .  For specific prairie dog related questions, please contact Kate Novak at kate_novak@fws.gov . 

**PLEASE NOTE: If you attended the survey training for Utah prairie dogs in 2023, there is no need for training in 2024 and your certification cards are still valid until early spring 2027 (class needed in 2027). However, please be aware that if you are not attending training this year, you are still responsible to confirm you are using the most recent information, survey protocol, and data sheets prior to performing any Utah prairie dog surveys. The Utah Prairie Dog Occupancy and Habitat Survey Protocol was updated in June 2018. 

All trainees who attended the surveyor training in 2020 or any prior years will no longer have a valid certification card and must attend the training to be able to conduct surveys for this field season. 

Survey and Training Materials

  • June 2018 Utah Prairie Dog Occupancy and Habitat Survey Protocol
  • Updated 2024 Survey Intensity Map (To be updated soon) 
  • Survey Intensity Shapefiles (To be updated soon)

Training Summary

This training emphasizes identification of Utah prairie dogs and their habitat and use of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Utah prairie dog survey protocol (revised in 2018). Please keep in mind that any individual conducting Utah prairie dog surveys must attend our Utah Prairie Dog Survey Training and obtain a certification card. If an organization/agency employs multiple surveyors to conduct Utah prairie dog surveys, each of those surveyors must attend the training and become certified. 

Surveys conducted by individuals who have not successfully completed the training or surveys following any out-dated protocol will be invalid. New trainees must attend the classroom session plus the field session. If you are a returning student (have been certified previously) and have successfully completed Utah prairie dog surveys following the June 2018 protocol within the most recent field season (2018), you can attend the classroom portion only.

Two primary objectives of the Utah Prairie Dog Survey Training Course are to:

  • Ensure consistency and quality of surveys following the Service’s approved protocol, for purposes of Endangered Species Act Section 7 Section 7
    Section 7 Consultation The Endangered Species Act (ESA) directs all Federal agencies to work to conserve endangered and threatened species and to use their authorities to further the purposes of the Act. Section 7 of the Act, called "Interagency Cooperation," is the mechanism by which Federal agencies ensure the actions they take, including those they fund or authorize, do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species.

    Learn more about Section 7
    consultation and compliance, and
  • Increase the number of qualified surveyors in order to improve our knowledge of the distribution of this federally threatened species. 

The purpose of Utah prairie dog occupancy/habitat surveys is to determine if Utah prairie dogs inhabit a proposed project area, in order to determine if the proposed action may affect Utah prairie dogs.  It is important that standardized protocols are followed.

Contact Kate Novak via email at Kate_Novak@fws.gov for Utah prairie dog specific questions.