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Title: Population status of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the San Pedro River Basin, Sonora

Author: Moreno-Arzate, Efren; Lopez Gonzalez, Carlos A.; Arroyo, Gerardo Carreon;

Date: 2013

Source: In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 487-489.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

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

Description: The black tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a species of conservation concern for Mexico, the United States and Canada. Populations in Mexico (including those in Sonora), which are considered endangered by the Mexican authority, require additional conservation efforts to maintain them on the long term. Our objective was to determine population size and density of the colonies in Sonora, as a first step to translocate individuals into a new colony in the region (Los Fresnos Ranch). The size of prairie dog colonies is 93 ha for La Mesa and 58 ha for Las Palmitas. La Mesa was surveyed between November 2010 and December 2011, and Las Palmitas from May to December 2011. Density was calculated with distance-based transect counts, using sampling software (Distance 4.0) for the analysis of the data. Our density estimates for La Mesa range from 1.03 to 5.29 individuals/ha, with an estimated peak population size of 488 individuals. In Las Palmitas, densities ranged from 1.50 to 6.45 individuals/ha, with an estimated peak population size of 362 individuals. Our results suggest that a controlled but limited translocation effort will allow the establishment of a new colony at Los Fresnos without compromising the long-term persistence of extant colonies.

Keywords: Madrean Archipelago, Sky Islands, southwestern United States, northern Mexico, natural environment, fauna, flora, research, management, biodiversity, climate change

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Moreno-Arzate, Efren; Lopez Gonzalez, Carlos A.; Arroyo, Gerardo Carreon. 2013. Population status of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the San Pedro River Basin, Sonora. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 487-489.

 


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