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We capitalized on a regional-scale, anthropogenic experiment?the reduction of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) towns across the Great Plains of North America?to test the hypothesis that decline of this species has led to declines in diversity of native grassland vertebrates of this region. We compared species richness and species composition of non-volant mammals, reptiles and amphibians at 36 prairie dog towns and 36 paired sites in the Panhandle Region of Oklahoma during the summers and falls of 1997, 1998 and 1999. We detected 30 species of mammals, 18 species of reptiles and seven species of amphibians. Comparisons between communities at prairie dog towns and paired sites in the adjacent landscape...
Concern over the status of species associated with prairie dog colonies has increased with the recent proposed listing of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We monitored burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations and prairie dog densities in 17 black-tailed prairie dog colonies in the Nebraska panhandle between 1990 and 1996. All prairie dog colonies were controlled at least once during the study. We observed a 63% decline in nesting pairs of burrowing owls and significant declines in burrow densities. Results indicated a time lag in owl response to changes in active burrow densities. However, in the later years of the study when burrow densities were lowest, owl numbers were positively correlated...
Concern over the decline of grassland birds has spurred efforts to increase understanding of grassland bird-habitat relationships. Previous studies have suggested that black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) provide important habitat for shortgrass prairie avifauna, such as mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) and western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), although such studies are lacking in Colorado (USA). We used methods to estimate occupancy (psi) of mountain plover and burrowing owl on prairie dog colonies and other shortgrass prairie habitats in eastern Colorado. Mountain plover occupancy was higher on prairie dog colonies (psi = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.36-0.64) than on grassland (psi = 0.07,...
Some populations of western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) have declined in recent decades. To design and implement effective recovery efforts, we need a better understanding of how distribution and demographic traits are influenced by habitat quality. To this end, we measured spatial patterns of burrowing owl breeding habitat selection within black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in northeastern Wyoming, USA. We compared burrow-, site-, colony-, and landscape-scale habitat parameters between burrowing owl nest burrows (n = 105) and unoccupied burrows (n = 85). We sampled 4 types of prairie dog colonies: 1) owl-occupied, active with prairie dogs (n = 16); 2) owl-occupied, inactive...
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This dataset contains the result of the bioclimatic-envelope modeling of the six mammal species -- (a) New Mexican Jumping Mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus), (b) Northern Pygmy Mouse (Baiomys taylori), (c) Gunnison's Prairie Dog (Cynomys gunnisoni), (d) Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus), (e) American Pika (Ochotona princeps), and (e) Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) -- in the South Central US using the downscaled data provided by WorldClim. We used five species distribution models (SDM) including Generalized Linear Model, Random Forest, Boosted Regression Tree, Maxent, and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS) and ensembles to develop the present day distributions of the species based on climate-driven...
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The following vegetation map units were combined and recoded to 1 if they occurred on slopes less than or equal to 10%: Apacherian-Chihuahuan Semi-Desert Grassland and Steppe, Chihuahuan Loamy Plains Desert Grasslands, Apacherian-Chihuahuan Mesquite Upland Scrub, Chihuahuan Creosotebush Desert Scrub, and Agriculture. The extents of the map units were limited to HUC boundaries that included historic locations of black-tailed prairie dog towns and/or expert opinion. In some cases, there were HUCs that did not have evidence of historic towns, but were considered to contain sufficient habitat types to include within the model. In other cases, there was limited habitat and the boundaries of the HUC were clipped to include...
Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies are important to many vertebrate populations in the shortgrass prairie ecosystem. Because it is often desirable to assess black-tailed prairie dog populations, and indirect methods generally are more economical than direct counts, we tested whether aboveground counts of black-tailed prairie dogs were related to burrow entrance densities. Higher densities of burrow entrances have been assumed to reflect higher prairie dog densities. We determined if maximum aboveground counts of black-tailed prairie dogs differed temporally in morning and evening in southwestern Kansas, compared maximum aboveground count data with burrow entrance densities, and evaluated the...


map background search result map search result map Projected future bioclimate-envelope suitability for mammal species in South Central USA BLM REA MAR 2012 Black Tailed Prairie Dog Distribution BLM REA MAR 2012 Black Tailed Prairie Dog Distribution Projected future bioclimate-envelope suitability for mammal species in South Central USA