Longmont considering relocating prairie dogs for future construction sites

LONGMONT, Colo. -- Prairie dogs are a part of Colorado, but often times they get in the way of new development and need to be relocated. The wildlife conservation folks in Longmont are in the process of looking at several properties to move colonies away from future construction sites.

Longmont natural resources manager David Bell says the ball is rolling on a relocation of a small colony of 25 prairie dogs. City officials are looking at seven properties but all those spaces must meet several factors.

"It’s usually because of development, we’re often looking for places to relocate them and knowing that the city has set aside land for wildlife there’s often a push to relocate prairie dogs onto city open space," said Bell.

"We look at properties we feel we can incorporate prairie dogs into that ecosystem and as we do that we then have to look to the state and see how to relocate them to those sites," Bell added.

They will only move healthy colonies because truly these animals are important to have for a functioning ecosystem. The timeline for moving them isn’t set in stone just yet because there are hurdles they need to jump over first.

"The state’s going to require that we have sufficient vegetation on the site, do we have conflict with neighbors resolved, that we have an area that’s not going to have development because we don’t want to relocate animals to a site where we have to do it again," Bell said.