www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

-4/4/2014, 4:55 PM

-4/4/2014, 4:55 PM

FWS lists prairie chicken as threatened -3/28/2014, 9:47 AM

Whooping cranes reach Kansas; winter numbers up slightly -3/28/2014, 8:35 AM

Ferret numbers still tumbling -3/28/2014, 8:35 AM

Oklahoma, oil group suing FWS -3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Divining rod for discs -3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Despite valiant effort, no success in finding snowy owl -3/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Capturing the moment -3/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Kansas: Not so flat after all -3/7/2014, 3:49 PM

Rod, reel a good fit -2/28/2014, 7:53 AM

Spring just a snowstorm or so away -2/28/2014, 7:53 AM

At 90: Best deer ever -2/21/2014, 10:33 AM

Tests confirm 5 new CWD cases -2/14/2014, 10:13 AM

Senate votes to invoke 'sovereignty' over state's prairie chickens -2/14/2014, 10:13 AM

KNRC to deliver report, asking for more money from member counties -2/7/2014, 10:50 AM

Group flunks states, federal agencies dealing with prairie dogs -2/7/2014, 12:12 PM

Brownback ready to sue feds -2/7/2014, 10:50 AM

Big oil companies bankrolling conservation plan -2/6/2014, 10:50 AM

Audubon blasts 'sovereign' bill -1/31/2014, 9:49 AM

Feds again asking for listing comments -1/31/2014, 9:48 AM

Utilities enrolling in program -1/31/2014, 9:48 AM

Listing controversy continues -1/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Friends on the water -12/20/2013, 9:54 AM

Federal wildlife agency lays out rules for oil, gas protection -12/20/2013, 9:54 AM

A beckoning -12/13/2013, 9:08 AM

Listing more likely as FWS adds rules -12/13/2013, 8:59 AM

It's happening right before our eyes! -11/29/2013, 10:28 AM

Governor's Ringneck Classic draws a crowd -11/22/2013, 9:29 AM

Drought saps pheasant numbers -11/8/2013, 6:50 PM

Sporting clays sure to be hot at hunt -11/8/2013, 6:50 PM

Counties set to talk chickens -11/1/2013, 12:08 PM

Dangerous delight -10/18/2013, 9:44 AM

Coping with (more) bad habits -10/11/2013, 12:01 PM

Celebrating fossil discoveries -10/11/2013, 11:51 AM

Making a wish come true -9/27/2013, 11:39 AM

Prairie chicken numbers tumble -9/27/2013, 11:39 AM

Counties meet FWS, present plans -9/20/2013, 12:25 PM

Oakley man in pursuit of grouse -9/13/2013, 11:23 AM

Counties hoping to halt listing -9/6/2013, 11:54 AM

Going outdoors -8/23/2013, 10:15 AM

Wetlands no longer bone dry -8/16/2013, 11:46 AM

Duck numbers remain strong -7/26/2013, 11:48 AM

Updated survey, conservation plan upcoming -7/26/2013, 11:39 AM

Pheasant outlook not so bright -7/19/2013, 11:48 AM

High heat, strong winds finally show a beneficial side -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

FWS delay reopens comment period -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

Study refutes wind tower effect on greater prairie chickens -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

Flowering cacti drought's treat -6/21/2013, 11:58 AM

Building a bridge over a key spring -6/14/2013, 9:57 AM

Country matters: Lemon painted-cup taking over -6/7/2013, 8:52 AM

Wind dampens great camping -5/31/2013, 12:22 PM

Wildlife benefits can boost CRP offers -5/24/2013, 11:42 AM

Camping season begins -5/24/2013, 11:42 AM

Field day focuses on wildlife needs -5/17/2013, 11:52 AM

FWS making big changes for LEPC rule -5/10/2013, 2:14 PM

Pheasants Forever biologists planning workshops on CRP enrollment -5/10/2013, 2:14 PM

Conservation plan nearly complete -5/3/2013, 10:31 AM

Final prairie chicken meeting upcoming -4/26/2013, 8:31 AM

Wildlife highlights Trego forestry day -4/26/2013, 8:31 AM

NRCS recognizes area volunteers -4/26/2013, 8:30 AM

Learning to cope -4/19/2013, 9:30 AM

Legislature weighing in on ferrets -2/15/2013, 9:50 AM

New meetings set on chickens -2/15/2013, 9:50 AM

Wildlife watching tops outdoors -9/28/2012, 11:38 AM

Drought dries up waterfowl area -9/14/2012, 11:59 AM

Holiday blast expected despite lower water -8/24/2012, 10:05 AM

Fate of lesser prairie chickens in air -8/17/2012, 1:46 PM

What to do when the doves fly away -- too early -8/17/2012, 11:40 AM

Logan County seeking court review -8/10/2012, 12:53 PM

Youth outdoor festival fast approaching -8/10/2012, 12:52 PM

Opinions mixed on CRP release -8/3/2012, 12:09 PM

NRA asks to intervene in federal lead-ban lawsuit -8/3/2012, 11:33 AM

Water levels precarious -7/27/2012, 12:57 PM

Drought allowing predators to snatch up newborn pronghorns -7/27/2012, 12:57 PM

Cedar Bluff a boost to economy -7/27/2012, 12:57 PM

Court ruling brings mixed response -7/20/2012, 2:12 PM

Dry weather a concern for wildlife -7/20/2012, 2:12 PM

Lion or bobcat? Opinions differ on photo -7/20/2012, 2:12 PM

Stockton brothers take second at state fishing tournament -7/13/2012, 10:36 AM

Duck numbers are up as habitat declines -7/13/2012, 10:36 AM

Baby dove shows resilience after attempted rescue -7/13/2012, 10:54 AM

Heat taking toll on state lakes -7/6/2012, 8:30 AM

Critters hide out during the heat of day as well -7/6/2012, 8:28 AM

Drought a concern for pheasants -6/29/2012, 12:55 PM

Court poised to hear appeal -5/11/2012, 11:36 AM

While ferret count is down, survival rate seen as strong -5/11/2012, 11:36 AM

Monument Rocks graces calendar -5/4/2012, 11:37 AM

Kansas the place to go for pheasants -5/4/2012, 11:36 AM

There's no need for camo here, pajamas, coffee will do just fine -4/20/2012, 11:36 AM

EPA turns aside request to ban lead -4/13/2012, 11:37 AM

High-soaring red-tailed hawks remain regal in life and death -4/13/2012, 11:37 AM

USDA program aiding chickens -4/6/2012, 11:37 AM

CRP sign-up extended -4/6/2012, 11:37 AM

Logan commission, FWS talk ferrets -4/6/2012, 11:36 AM

Groups again ask EPA to ban lead use in ammunition -3/30/2012, 11:37 AM

Bird remains regal, even in death -3/30/2012, 11:37 AM

Saturday a free day at Kansas parks -3/30/2012, 11:37 AM

Fifth CWD case turns up in Norton -3/30/2012, 11:37 AM

Walleye wonder -3/23/2012, 2:05 PM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Dry weather lowers prairie dog numbers, might limit need to poison

Published on -9/2/2011, 11:56 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

RUSSELL SPRINGS -- Prairie dog populations at the main black-footed ferret reintroduction site are so low that poisoning might be limited to the 30-foot grass barriers that ring much of the 10,000-acre ranch.

Typically, an additional 600 to 700 acres of grass are poisoned annually to help reduce the density of prairie dog populations and, as a result, the pressure to flee onto adjoining lands.

Drought and natural forces, however, have combined to reduce the number of prairie dogs on the Haverfield-Barnhardt complex that Larry Haverfield oversees.

Overall, Haverfield is estimating the 10,000-acre complex only has about a fourth of the prairie dogs it had when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to start releasing the highly endangered black-footed ferrets on the ranch.

He suspects the existing prairie dog population had only a fourth of its normal reproduction, the result of dry conditions that were so harsh the animals were forced into an almost unheard of hibernation to survive the weather.

Wildlife biologists had expected reproduction rates to fall, but they didn't know by how much.

FWS also has released ferrets on the Smoky Valley Ranch owned by the Nature Conservancy, and the numbers there -- for both prairie dogs and ferrets -- are markedly lower.

"They'll use the least poison they ever have this fall," Haverfield predicted.

This year, he's suggested the prairie dogs within the 30-yard-wide barriers be poisoned as soon as possible.

"And then wait until December and come back and do 30 yards inside the barrier," Haverfield said.

That would mean poisoning back prairie dogs along a 60-yard-wide border.

The vegetative barriers are an area that has been cordoned off from grazing cattle, allowing the grass to grow and serve as a visual barrier to migrating prairie dogs.

Haverfield has 25 miles of vegetative barriers on the ranch, adjacent to adjoining landowners.

There's another 10 miles of specially designed fences that were installed by the Audubon of Kansas.

"The fence, it does help," he said. "Especially if you get a little bit of trash and stuff that blows up in there. If everything's clean, they go under the wire."

Even blowing thistles -- small enough not to take out the fence -- are enough to serve as a barrier, Haverfield said.

He also contends the vegetative barriers are working.

"It looks to me like 30 yards is adequate," he said, especially if the animals brave enough to venture into the taller grass are poisoned.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News