• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

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.

Did You Know?

Natural Entrance of Wind Cave

Winds caused by changes in barometric pressure are what give Wind Cave its name. These winds have been measured at the cave's walk-in entrance at over 70 mph. The winds at the natural entrance of the cave attracted the attention of Native Americans and early settlers.