Study

Efficacy of translocations for restoring populations of black-tailed prairie dogs

  • Published source details Dullum J.A.L.D., Foresman K.R. & Matchett M.R. (2005) Efficacy of translocations for restoring populations of black-tailed prairie dogs. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 33, 842-850.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites

    A replicated, controlled study in 1999–2003 on a grassland site in Montana, USA (Dullum et al. 2005) found that after translocating black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus in social groups to areas with artificial burrows, colonies increased in size over four years. Six colonies receiving translocated prairie dogs grew more in area over four years (total growth 72 ha, 924% of pre-translocation area) than did 20 similar-sized colonies that did not receive translocated prairie dogs (total growth 27 ha, 93% increase). Two active colonies (with existing prairie dog populations at the start of the study) that each received 120 prairie dogs increased more over four years (total increase 37 ha, 971% of pre-translocation area) than did two active colonies each receiving 60 prairie dogs (total growth 31 ha, 768%). An inactive colony that received no prairie dogs remained inactive. In June–July 1999, prairie dogs were released into pre-existing burrows (up to eight prairie dogs/burrow) or drilled holes (8 cm diameter × 60 cm deep, 45° below horizontal, up to two prairie dogs/hole, 30 holes/site). Colony size was measured four years later. Nine experimental colonies, three each occupying areas of 0 ha (inactive), 0.1–2.0 ha and 2.0–6.6 ha, were studied. In each size class, translocations to the three colonies were of 0, 60 and 120 prairie dogs. Growth-rates of 20 non-supplemented colonies were also monitored.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  2. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups

    A replicated, controlled study in 1999–2003 on a grassland site in Montana, USA (Dullum  et al. 2005) found that after translocating black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus in social groups to areas with artificial burrows, colonies increased in size over four years. Six colonies receiving translocated prairie dogs grew more in area over four years (total growth 72 ha, 924% of pre-translocation area) than did 20 similar-sized colonies, which did not receive translocated prairie dogs (total growth 27 ha, 93% increase). Two active colonies (with existing prairie dog populations at the start of the study) that each received 120 prairie dogs increased more over four years (total increase 37 ha, 971% of pre-translocation area) than did two active colonies each receiving 60 prairie dogs (total growth 31 ha, 768%). An inactive colony that received no prairie dogs remained inactive. In June–July 1999, prairie dogs were released into pre-existing burrows (up to eight prairie dogs/burrow) or drilled holes (8 cm diameter × 60 cm deep, 45° below horizontal, up to two prairie dogs/hole, 30 holes/site). Colony size was measured four years later. Nine experimental colonies, three each occupying areas of 0 ha (inactive), 0.1–2.0 ha and 2.0–6.6 ha, were studied. In each size class, translocations to the three colonies were of 0, 60 and 120 prairie dogs. Growth-rates of 20 non-supplemented colonies were also monitored.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust