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Temporal–spatial variation in white-tailed prairie dog demography and life histories in Wyoming
- Menkens Jr., George E., Anderson, Stanley H.
- Canadian journal of zoology 1989 v.67 no.2 pp. 343-349
- Cynomys, adults, demography, habitats, juveniles, life history, life tables, models, population density, sex ratio, towns, Wyoming
- Variation in population density and life history traits were studied in six white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) populations in Wyoming using mark – recapture techniques. All life history traits (except juvenile sex ratios) and population density exhibited significant variation within towns between years and among towns in the same year. Temporal and spatial habitat variation significantly affects juvenile body mass but not adult body mass, which, in turn, results in the observed variation in life history traits. We conclude that white-tailed prairie dogs are dynamic reproducers and that their population age distributions are neither stable nor stationary. Use of life tables to study life history patterns of this species or of similar species would be inappropriate because of a failure to meet a basic assumption of life table models.