Small mammals and ground-dwelling invertebrates associated with active and controlled colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

Rachel E. Mccaffrey, Mark C. Wallace, James D. Ray

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Small mammals and ground-dwelling invertebrates were sampled seasonally on active colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), Phostoxln®-treated colonies, and noncolonized short-grass prairie to assess potential impacts of Plostoxin® on non-target species in the Texas Panhandle. Eleven species of small mammals were captured. Northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) were more abundant on active prairie dog colonies, whereas abundances of North American deermice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and plains harvest mice (Reithrodontomys montanus) did not differ among treatments. Total abundance of small mammals and relative abundances of other species did not differ among active colonies, Phostoxin® treated colonies, and non-colonized sites. Ground-dwelling invertebrates were more abundant on active colonies than on Phostoxin®treated colonies or noncolonized sites. Results of this study indicate that short-term impacts of control of prairie dogs with Phostoxin® on non-target small mammals and ground-dwelling invertebrates is limited, but may be significant for individual species. Additionally, in short-grass prairie ecosystems, vegetative alterations made by prairie dogs may not influence populations of small mammals as much as in tall or mixed-grass prairies. However, active colonies were used more by northern grasshopper mice and ground-dwelling invertebrates, indicating that this habitat is important for these species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-306
Number of pages7
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Volume54
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

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