The Big Dry Arm Spring Storm in the Great Basin Red Cliffs Desert Tortoise Reserve March Morning on the Platte River After a Spring Storm in the Great Basin Hunting Upland Birds at Kingsbury Lake Waterfowl Production Area Sandhill Migration on the Platte River Badlands Sunrise The Green River at Ouray NWR North Park Lupines Moab Sunset
Oral Sylvatic Plague Vaccine
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

Oral Sylvatic Plague Vaccine

Prairie dogs in the wild are less likely to succumb to a deadly disease called sylvatic plague after they ingest peanut-butter-flavored bait that contains a vaccine against the disease, according to recent field trials conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several other partners.

The development of a safe, effective and economical sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, to protect prairie dogs in identified management areas is part of a multi-partner collaboration to increase populations of endangered black-footed ferrets (BFFs). BFFs are North America’s only native ferret species and are one of the rarest mammals on the continent. The species is entirely dependent upon prairie dogs for survival, so efforts to protect prairie dogs are designed to bolster BFF numbers to recover the species and return management to states.

PDF Resources

Video Resources

Video of vaccine distribution: Partnerships, Innovation (and Peanut Butter) Give New Hope for America’s Most Endangered Mammal

Additional Resources

Species info
Recovery program
Black-footed ferrets on Facebook
Black-footed ferret webcam  




The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: February 12, 2021
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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