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Use of Ecological Sites in Managing Wildlife and Livestock: An Example with Prairie Dogs

Author:
Hendrickson, John R., Johnson, Patricia S., Liebig, Mark A., Sedivec, Kevin K., Halvorson, Gary A.
Source:
Rangelands 2016 v.38 pp. 23-28
ISSN:
0190-0528
Subject:
Cynomys, aboveground biomass, climate, ecosystems, environmental factors, forage, grasses, grazing, herbivores, landscapes, livestock, rangelands, rodents, soil, species diversity, vegetation, wildlife, wildlife management, Great Plains region, South Dakota
Abstract:
•The perception of prairie dogs among Native Americans living on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation is mixed. Some Native Americans focus on the loss of forage productivity, whereas others are interested in the cultural and ecological aspects of prairie dogs.•The use of ecological sites may provide a mechanism for developing a management framework that would consider both livestock and prairie dogs.•The three ecological sites we surveyed had large differences in off-colony standing crop, but in 2 of the 3 years we surveyed, there were no differences between standing crop on-colony.•This suggests that management of prairie dogs on rangelands should focus on limiting prairie dogs on more productive ecological sites with less productive sites receiving less emphasis.