HELENA — Four conservation groups based in Wyoming, Colorado and Montana have filed a lawsuit seeking to compel federal officials to address the white-tailed prairie dog population.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has said the species doesn't warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, but the groups disagree.
The groups filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Montana alleging the agency didn't adequately everything it should have as required by federal law before making its determination.
The white-tailed prairie dog is found in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana. Federal wildlife officials said in 2010 that the species' population hadn't substantially changed and that the white-tailed prairie dog didn't face significant threats from urbanization or energy development.