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Title: The role of prairie dogs as a keystone species: response to Stapp

Author: Miller, B.; Reading, R.; Hoogland, J.; Clark, T.; Ceballos, G.; List, R.; Forrest, S.; Hanebury, L.; Manzano, P.; Pacheco, J.; Uresk, D.;

Date: 2000

Source: Conservation biology 14(1): p. 318-321

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Stapp (1998) recently argued that it was premature to characterize prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) as keystone species. In particular, Stapp directed much of his criticism at a paper some of us wrote (Miller et al. 1994). He mistakenly interprets the main objective of our paper as providing evidence that prairie dogs are keystone species. Rather, the purpose of that paper was to outline an integrated strategy for conserving prairie dogs, and the theme was legal protection, habitat preservation, education, and economic incentives. It was presented in the context of prairie dog management policies having reduced grassland diversity. A discussion of the effect of prairie dogs on the ecosystem was, therefore, limited largely to an introductory paragraph. In this comment we address levels of knowledge about prairie dogs and prairie dogs as a keystone species.

Keywords: Cynomys, keystone species, ecosystems, wildlife managment

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Miller, B.; Reading, R.; Hoogland, J.; Clark, T.; Ceballos, G.; List, R.; Forrest, S.; Hanebury, L.; Manzano, P.; Pacheco, J.; Uresk, D. 2000. The role of prairie dogs as a keystone species: response to Stapp. Conservation biology 14(1): p. 318-321

 


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