• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Abstract - Alteration of Bison and Black-tailed Prairie Dog Grazing Interaction by Prescribed Burning

Coppock, D.L. and Detling, J.K. 1986. Alteration of bison and black-tailed prairie dog grazing interaction by prescribed burning. Journal of Wildlife Management 50. pp. 452-455.


Bison (Bison bison) use of a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony was compared before and after a prescribed burn on adjacent, uncolonized grassland at Wind Cave National Park (WCNP), South Dakota, 1979-80. On a daily basis cow-calf herds increased their use of the burned grassland 12 x and decreased their use of the colony by 30-63% following the burn. Prescribed burns could be effective in mitigating bison impacts on colonies.

Did You Know?

fire on the prairie

Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.