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Title: Initial results of experimental studies of prairie dogs in arid grasslands: Implications for landscape conservation and the importance of scale (Resultados Iniciales de Estudios Experimentales en Perros Llaneros de Pastizales Aridos: Implicaciones Para la Conservacion del Paisaje y la Importancia de Escala)

Author: Curtin, Charles;

Date: 2006

Source: In: Basurto, Xavier; Hadley, Diana, eds. 2006. Grasslands ecosystems, endangered species, and sustainable ranching in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands: Conference proceedings. RMRS-P-40. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 57-62

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Numerous ecologists and conservationists believe that prairie dogs increase ecosystem diversity and preserve the function of grasslands (Whicker and Detling 1988, Miller et al. 1994, Jones et al. 1994, Power et al. 1996, Weltzin et al. 1997, Miller et al. 2000), yet this perspective is controversial (Stapp 1998). In contrast, many ranchers and land owners view prairie dog conservation and restoration as a threat to their livelihoods because they believe that prairie dog holes pose a threat to livestock and the prairie dogs consume forage. While numerous studies of prairie dogs have been completed, few comprehensive experimental studies of the ecological effects of prairie dogs have been conducted and none of these studies have been completed in arid grasslands. Since 1999 we have been conducting experimental studies of the interaction of Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicanus) with conservation and lands management. In this paper two fundamental questions are addressed. First, are ranching and other pastoral land uses compatible with the reintroduction of prairie dogs? Second, are the patterns of diversity and ecosystem composition noted from studies of the central and northern Great Plains relevant for desert grasslands?

Keywords: semi-arid grasslands, endangered species, sustainable ranching, Mexico-U.S. borderlands, prairie dog conservation, black-tailed prairie dogs, Cynomys ludovicanus

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Curtin, Charles 2006. Initial results of experimental studies of prairie dogs in arid grasslands: Implications for landscape conservation and the importance of scale (Resultados Iniciales de Estudios Experimentales en Perros Llaneros de Pastizales Aridos: Implicaciones Para la Conservacion del Paisaje y la Importancia de Escala). In: Basurto, Xavier; Hadley, Diana, eds. 2006. Grasslands ecosystems, endangered species, and sustainable ranching in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands: Conference proceedings. RMRS-P-40. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 57-62

 


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