• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Abstract - Interactions and Activity Patterns of Bison and Prairie Dogs at Wind Cave National Park*

Krueger, Kirsten. 1986. Interactions and Activity Patterns of Bison and Prairie Dogs at Wind Cave National Park: Implications for Managers. National Wilderness Research Conference. pp. 203-207.


Some potential benefits to wildlife, park visitors, and managers of basic ecological research are presented, using specific examples from several research projects done at Wind Cave National Park on bison and prairie dogs. An experimental methodology in such research is advocated where appropriate. A brief outline of research work remaining and its relation to management questions is presented.

Two basic research projects conducted at the park are briefly summarized and some management implications arising from them are presented. The first study used exclosure experiments to investigate interactions between bison and prairie dog populations. Results indicated a mutually positive relationship and suggest that certain management decisions should be made with this relationship in mind: actions affecting one population will likely affect the other. The second study examined bison summer activity patterns. Results showed several activity peaks and a significant increase in rut-related behavior as the season progressed.

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