State Wildlife Grant - T-32-R
Survey and Faunal Inventory of Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) Colonies in Southwestern North Dakota
Black-tailed Prairie Dog
May 2011 -- Dec. 2013
Dr. Michael Shaughnessy, Dickinson State University
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has conducted surveys of active and inactive black-tailed prairie dog towns in southwestern North Dakota on a 3-5 year cycle as part of the NDGF black-tailed prairie dog management plan. The last full inventory of black-tailed prairie dog colonies in North Dakota was completed in 2006, necessitating the initiation of a new survey in order to accurately assess the status of prairie dogs in North Dakota. Additionally, black-tailed prairie dogs colonies have been documented to be important landscape features for a number of associated vertebrates and invertebrates. A comprehensive inventory of North Dakota prairie dog associated species will represent baseline data which can be used over time to better assess the overall health and ecosystem effects of prairie dog colonies in the state. A measure of the diversity of species associated with prairie dog colonies will further understanding of the impact of prairie dogs in the North Dakota grassland ecosystem.