Abstract - An Experimental Analysis of Feeding Relationships Among Bison, Pronghorn, and Prairie Dogs

Krueger, Kirsten. 1984. An Experimental Analysis of Feeding Relationships among Bison, Pronghorn, and Prairie Dogs. 44+ p.


The potential for rodent-ugulate feeding competition or facilitation is high at Wind Cave National Park. Prairie do towns comprise only 6% of the total park area, yet up to 80% of bison and 85% of pronghorn observed on parkwide censuses fed on dog towns. Of bison feeding on dog towns 96% used grass-dominated edges, whereas 81% of pronghorn feeding on dog towns used forb/shrub-dominated town centers. Similarity of pronghorn-prairie dog foraging patterns on town centers, and of bison-prairie dog foraging patterns on town edges prompted an investigation of interspecific relationships between these two pairs. Results from exclosure experiments indicate that bison-prairie dog relationships are mutually positive whereas the effects of prairie dogs on pronghorn are weakly negative. The effect of pronghorn on prairie dogs is neutral.

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