Hale, S. L., J. L. Koprowski, and H. Hicks. 2013. Review of black-tailed prairie dog reintroduction strategies and site selection: Arizona reintroduction. In Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C., com


Sarah L. Hale
John L. Koprowski
Holly Hicks

The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) was once widely distributed throughout the western United States; however, anthropogenic influences have reduced the species’ numbers to 2 percent of historical populations. Black-tailed prairie dogs are described as a keystone species in the grassland ecosystem, and provide many unique services, including burrows for other species (e.g. burrowing owls [Athene cunicularia] and rattlesnakes [Crotalus spp.]), nutrient rich soil that, in turn, provides rich vegetationfor grazers, and food for many carnivores and birds of prey. Several efforts have been made to reestablishthis species to its historical range. In southeastern Arizona, a recent reintroduction effort was built upon work of scientists that identified potential suitable areas with characteristics similar to those of existing prairie dog colonies in Mexico. Prairie dogs were first translocated to the sites in 2008, and individuals still remain on the landscape today. We compare this to other reestablishment efforts, and provide suggestions on ways to increase success of future reintroductions.

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