Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): William Agnew; Daniel W. Uresk; Richard M. Hansen
    Date: 1986
    Source: Journal of Range Management. 39(2): 135-139.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (239.35 KB)


    Vegetation, small rodents, and birds were sampled during the growing seasons of 2 years on prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and adjacent mixed-grass prairie in western South Dakota. Prairie dog grazing decreased mulch cover, maximum height of vegetation, plant species richness, and tended to decrease live plant canopy cover compared to that on ungrazed mixed-grass prairie. Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) was the dominant plant on prairie dog towns and western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) were most common on mixed-grass prairie sites. Prairie dog towns supported greater densities of small rodents but significantly fewer species compared to undisturbed mixed-grass sites. Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) were more abundant on prairie dog towns than on undisturbed mixed-grass sites. Density and species richness of birds were significantly greater on prairie dog towns. Horned larks (Eremophila alpestris) were most common on prairie dog towns, whereas western meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) were most common on mixed-grass prairie.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Agnew, William; Uresk, Daniel W.; Hansen, Richard M. 1986. Flora and fauna associated with prairie dog colonies and adjacent ungrazed mixed-grass prairie in western South Dakota. Journal of Range Management. 39(2): 135-139.


    Cynomys ludovicianus, vegetation, rodents, birds, grasslands, prairies, habitat selection, species richness, Badlands National Park, South Dakota

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page