The great grasslands of this country are disappearing. Most of it is being plowed under to grow more subsized corn and wheat and up until the recent mortgage bust large tracts of grasslands were being developed with cookie cutter homes, and urbanization blight--
The Buffalo kept the grassland revitalized and the death of the buffalo began the death of the prairie grasslands. Along comes a possible savior and whammo again we seem to be ignorant to the importance of this animal in his natural habitat!! Cattle are not native to our grasslands! They were brought in, most of the public lands are managed by the ranchers and the Dept of the Interior...who seem to be in bed together on every issue that pops up from the Coyote to the Prairie Dog.
This native species is a very beneficial animal in the grasslands of this country. It may appear that they only make holes and ruts in the earth with their many tunnels but in reality, they are bringing minerals and nutrients up to the surface, aerating the ground, reseeding the grasses, and fertilizing the soil! While cattle are moved in and out of areas by man....thats not a natural process...cattle are not NATIVE to North America but the buffalo are/were therefore we know that Cattle can not sustain the proper ecosystem balance!!
Some people are starting to see the light and instead of putting out poison as our Federal Govt subsidizes doing, they are actually dusting prairie dog dens with flea killer to protect the prairie dogs and help kill out the fleas that are carrying the plague. Prairie dogs are not the bad guys in this just as the WOLF was not the bad guy. They need protection just as the Buffalo and the Eagle did--we have to learn from our mistakes otherwise what good are we as stewards of this Planet? In this case and every case Mother Earth Knows BEST!
In many areas prairie dogs are being murdered with the blessings of the US govt. They are being irradicated with the threat of spreading the bubonic plague, due to flea infestations. They are not being protected and the beneficial work they do is now starting to be missed on the ever shrinking grasslands as they move westward looking for a place to live.
I have seen the work first hand. Near my sisters home in CO is a an old school house. It is right next to the Rio Grand Bike Path, a rails to trails reclaimation recreation area. In the past 20 yrs that Ive been visiting the area I have noticed that Prairie dogs have begun to thrive along this bike path and in the area of the old school house. This year I saw pups out playing in the grasses, and I saw something else...