Yukon-area prairie dogs could be relocated

Wildlife official explains state permit requirement

A prairie dog approaches a hole on land just east of Yukon near Sara Road and State Highway 66, west of the Kilpatrick Turnpike. (Photo by Robert Medley)

By Robert Medley
Senior Staff Writer

Removing prairie dogs by poisoning or killing them in an area under development requires a permit from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, a state official said.

Prairie dogs have recently been seen in the roadway near Sara Road and State Highway 66, west of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike, as development continues to surround them and shrink their colonies that have been in this area for decades.

The land is in Oklahoma City limits on Yukon’s eastern edge.

The last time a landowner applied for a permit to kill prairie dogs near Sara Road and SH-66 was in 2018, said Kurt Kuklinski, a wildlife diversity and research supervisor with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Then, wildlife experts drove by the area where a housing addition was being developed.

The state wildlife department recommended trapping and removing the prairie dogs alive. They were taken to an area in western Oklahoma and released.

Prairie dogs are more numerous in western parts of Canadian County near El Reno, Kuklinski said.

He said within Oklahoma City limits, the only other known prairie dogs are near NW 4 and County Line Road, but they are few in numbers there.

If a landowner applies for a prairie dog removal permit for the colony at the southeast corner of the SH-66/Sara Road intersection, Kuklinski said the wildlife department would recommend moving them to western Oklahoma.

But there are no current applications for permits from landowners at that intersection, he said.