Conservation of the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog: Saving North by John Hoogland

By John Hoogland

The prairie puppy is a colonial, keystone species of the grassland environment of western North the United States. Myriad animals usually stopover at colony-sites to feed at the grass there, to take advantage of the burrows for take care of or nesting, or to prey at the prairie canine. regrettably, prairie canines are disappearing, and the present quantity is barely approximately 2% of the quantity encountered by way of Lewis and Clark within the early 1800s. half I of Conservation of the Black-Tailed Prairie puppy summarizes ecology and social habit for pivotal concerns resembling whilst prairie canines breed, how a long way they disperse, how they impact different organisms, and what kind of they compete with farm animals. half II records how lack of habitat, poisoning, plague, and leisure taking pictures have prompted the precipitous decline of prairie puppy populations over the past 2 hundred years. half III proposes useful options which could make sure the longterm survival of the prairie puppy and its grassland surroundings, and likewise are reasonable to personal landowners. we won't count on farmers and ranchers to endure all of the expenses of conservation whereas the remainder of us get pleasure from the entire merits. With seven hundred references, 37 tables, seventy five figures and pictures, and a thesaurus, Conservation of the Black-Tailed Prairie puppy is a distinct and very important contribution for natural world managers, politicians, environmentalists, and curious naturalists. John L. Hoogland is a Professor of Biology on the college of Maryland's Appalachian Laboratory, and has studied prairie canines for the final 33 years.

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These patterns make it difficult to specify the day of weaning and the length of lactation. One way to estimate the length of lactation is to determine the interval between parturition and first juvenile emergence from the natal burrow. This interval for prairie dogs ranges from 37 to 51 days, with an average of 41 days (Hoogland 1995). Successful reproduction depends on many factors, which I discuss below, but the periods of mating, gestation, and lactation are especially critical. To secure prairie dogs for translocations, wildlife managers should avoid livetrapping during these periods.

A cohort-specific life table—also called a gener- 3. 6. Age-specific survivorship of male and female prairie dogs. Circles represent averages, and lines above and below the circles show standard errors (SE); the number above each SE line indicates the number of individuals alive at the beginning of each interval. For both sexes, survivorship increases with age up to a certain point, and then decreases; females always survive better than males. ation, composite, or horizontal life table—requires the tracking of an entire cohort (group of individuals born at approximately the same time) over time and involves numerous related symbols (Deevey 1947; Caughley 1977).

Within colonies, prairie dogs live in family groups called coteries. Coterie size ranges from 1 to 26, but the typical coterie contains 1 breeding male, 2–3 adult females, and 1–2 yearling offspring of each sex. • Coterie members have a well-defined territory that they defend from prairie dogs of other coteries. The area and configuration of a territory usually remain constant across generations. • To capture prairie dogs, researchers use double-door livetraps baited with whole oats. To mark them, researchers use eartags (for permanent identification) and Nyanzol fur dye (for identification from a distance).

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