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Posted Mon Feb 2 2009: from Associated Press:
States fail in latest prairie dog report card
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Whether he sees his shadow or not this Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil has it easy. But in the West, his cousins are in dire straits, according to a report to be released Monday by WildEarth Guardians. The environmental group says North America's five species of prairie dog have lost more than 90 percent of their historical range due to habitat loss, shooting and poisoning. WildEarth Guardians' report grades three federal land management agencies and a dozen states on their actions over the past year to protect prairie dogs and their habitat. Not one received an A. New Mexico, home to the Gunnison's prairie dog and black-tailed prairie dog, earned a D -- the same as last year -- because the group said state wildlife officials weren't actively conserving prairie dogs. The group says oil and gas activity threatens habitat in rural areas, while urbanization in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos is pushing the animals out.
[Read more stories about: hunting to extinction, anthropogenic change]

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