Trapped Prairie Dog for SPV Testing
This prairie dog was trapped by scientists outside its burrow in Wind Cave National Park as part of a field test to determine the effectiveness of a USGS-developed oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV). This animal will be brought to a research van for tagging and blood, whisker, and hair sampling, and then released.
If successful, the SPV could help protect endangered black-footed ferret populations in the western U.S. because the ferrets rely on prairie dogs for food. The SPV project is a collaboration of over 30 organizations and agencies.