Study

Effect of group size on survival of relocated prairie dogs

  • Published source details Robinette K.W., Andelt W.F. & Burnham K.P. (1995) Effect of group size on survival of relocated prairie dogs. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 59, 867-874

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in larger unrelated groups

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in larger unrelated groups

    A replicated, paired sites study in 1990–1991 in three grassland sites in Colorado, USA (Robinette et al. 1995) found that larger groups of translocated black‐tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus attracted more immigrants and had higher reproductive success and initial daily survival rate than smaller groups. Over one year, prairie dogs translocated in groups of 59 individuals attracted more immigrants (13.7) than those translocated in groups of 30 (4.0) or 10–11 (1.5). Reproductive success was higher in prairie dogs translocated as groups of 59 individuals (0.79 pups/animal released) than groups of 10–11 (0.28 pups/animal released), but similar to those released as groups of 30 individuals (0.62 pups/animal released). Groups of 59 prairie dogs had higher daily survival rates in the first 23-51 days after release (99.1%) than groups of 30 (98.5%) or 10 prairie dogs (97.7%) but by the second monitoring period (139-142 days later) daily survival rates were the same for all three groups sizes (99.8%). Between July and October 1990, six groups of 10–11, three of 30 and three of 59 prairie dogs were released into three experimental blocks with four plots (2-6 ha depending on group size) in each (2 containing 10-11 prairie dog groups, 1x 30 prairie dog group and 1x 59 prairie dog group, randomly assigned), within a 69-km2 military area. Prairie dogs were trapped four times during one year post-release, using 1.5 traps/released individual, over four days.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

Output references

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, terrestrial 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