The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Justin Augustine,  (415) 436-9682 x 302

Lethal New Poison Could Exterminate Black-tailed Prairie Dogs -- Plus Kill Whooping Cranes and Golden Eagles


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is
currently considering whether to approve a poison, appropriately
named Kaput-D, that would be used to exterminate black-tailed
prairie dogs. Last week, the Center for Biological Diversity
submitted comments
explaining the numerous problems with Kaput-D, including how it
could also kill non-target species like the extremely endangered
black-footed ferret, whooping crane, and American burying beetle, as
well as foxes, golden eagles, ferruginous hawks, mountain plovers,
burrowing owls, and bald eagles.

"This is like kicking someone when
they're already down," said Justin Augustine of the Center for
Biological Diversity. "Less than a year ago, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service determined that the black-tailed prairie dog may
need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act because of
already approved poisons that are killing the species. EPA should be
withdrawing prairie dog poisons from the market in order to protect
this imperiled species, and instead they're considering allowing

Kaput-D is an anticoagulant poison. It
causes animals to lose blood through various orifices, including
eventually the skin membranes, over a period of weeks. During this
time, poisoned prairie dogs may wander around as they become weaker
and weaker and vulnerable to predation. As that point, animals that
prey on prairie dogs or use prairie dog habitat can themselves be

The EPA is in charge of regulating
rodenticides like Kaput-D and has the power to reject applications,
as well as alter or cancel existing permits (known as
registrations). The agency is also required to consult with the Fish
and Wildlife Service anytime a rodenticide may impact an endangered
species such as the black-footed ferret. Thus far, however, EPA has
refused to do so in regard to not only Kaput-D but also for already
existing prairie dog poisons such as Rozol, another

"While Kaput-D should not be registered
due to its severe negative impacts to all wildlife, it is
particularly troublesome that EPA is blatantly violating its
obligations to species listed under the Endangered Species Act,"
said Justin Augustine. "It's time for the Obama administration to
step up and start protecting America's wildlife instead of
continuing the ridiculous antics of the Bush administration.
Approving a poison like Kaput-D makes about as much sense as feeding
strychnine to your child. No one in their right mind would do

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

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