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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Habitat manipulation for reestablishment of Utah prairie dogs In Capitol Reef National Park

Published source details

Player R.L. & Urness P.J. (1982) Habitat manipulation for reestablishment of Utah prairie dogs In Capitol Reef National Park. Great Basin Naturalist, 42, 517-523


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Remove vegetation using herbicides Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled study in 1979–1981 at two grassland sites in a national park in Utah, USA (Player & Urness 1982) found that herbicide application did not increase establishment of translocated Utah prairie dogs Cynomys parvidens. In the first year of translocation, the average number of prairie dogs counted on the site sprayed with herbicide (1.7) was not significantly different to that on the unsprayed site (0.3). In the second and third year, no prairie dogs were counted on either site. One site was treated with the herbicide, 2,4-D, at a rate of 2.2 kg active ingredient/ha (date of treatment not given) and one site was not sprayed. Sites were 5 ha each. On each site, 200 artificial burrows were created. In early-summer 1979, two hundred prairie dogs were translocated and released across four sites (the sprayed and unsprayed sites and two further sites not detailed in this summary). Counts were conducted through summer and fall of 1979 and in summer 1980–1981.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Remove vegetation by hand/machine Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled study in 1978–1981 of grassland at four sites in a national park in Utah, USA (Player & Urness 1982) found that mechanical disturbance of vegetation promoted establishment of translocated Utah prairie dogs Cynomys parvidens. In the first year of translocation, more prairie dogs (8–16) were counted on sites where vegetation was disturbed than on sites where vegetation was not disturbed (0.3). The same pattern held over the second year (disturbed: 9–14; undisturbed: 0 prairie dogs) and third year (disturbed: 15–16; undisturbed: 0 prairie dogs) after translocation. In August 1978, vegetation in one site was disturbed using a rotobeater. In another site, four railroad rails were dragged twice over the site. Vegetation was not disturbed at a third site. Sites were 5 ha each. On each site, 200 artificial burrows were created. In early-summer 1979, a total of 200 prairie-dogs were translocated and released across four sites (these three sites and a fourth site, not detailed here). Counts were conducted through summer and autumn of 1979 and in summer 1980–1981.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)