Doane University sells prairie dog land in Nebraska

Prairie dog (MGN)

A Nebraska university has sold a parcel believed to hold the state's easternmost colony of black-tailed prairie dogs.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Doane University's Board of Trustees sold the 320-acre (130-hectare) land last month for $2.6 million to the Lovegrove family, whose farming operation surrounds the parcel. The board will return the proceeds to its endowment.

The university's students had been using the land as a prairie dog research lab.

Attorney Christin Lovegrove says the family is willing to work with the university to find a solution for the prairie dogs.

Doane's former vice president for academic affairs Maureen Franklin says the university should've done more to save the colony. She says conservation groups are discussing a plan to move the prairie dogs, but most could die in the process.

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