Abstract - Control of Ecosystem Processes by Prairie Dogs and Other Grassland Herbivores
Detling, James K. and Whicker, April D. 1987. Control of Ecosystem Processes by Prairie Dogs and Other Grassland Herbivores. In Uresk, Daniel W., Schenbeck, Greg L. and Cefkin, Rose (eds.) Eighth Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop. pp. 23-29.
Black-tailed prairie dogs in the mixed-grass prairie at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, create habitat patches characterized by altered species composition, lower standing crops of plants, but higher forage quality. Native wildlife species such as bison, pronghorn, and elk preferentially feed on these prairie dog colonies and likely derive nutritional benefits from doing so.
Did You Know?
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.