The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) completed a status review of the black-tailed prairie dog and determined the rodent doesn't warrant protection as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. Black-tailed prairie dogs are typically found east of the continental divide in Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska.

Most estimates of black-tailed prairie dog populations are based on estimates of occupied habitat, with the most current range-wide estimate of occupied habitat being 2.4 million acres. While its historic range is estimated at 80-100 million acres, black-tailed prairie dog habitat has increased significantly since its low point of 364,000 acres in 1961.

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