Great Basin Naturalist


Three rodenticide treatments, zinc phosphide with prebait, strychnine with prebait, and strychnine without prebait, were applied to black-tailed prairie dog Cynomys ludovicianus colonies in west central South Dakota. Results were compared immediately posttreatment and for one year after application. Zinc phosphide was the most effective for reducing prairie dog numbers immediately. When burrow activity levels of prairie dogs were initially reduced by 45% with strychnine only, they returned to untreated levels within ten months. When initial reductions were 95% with zinc phosphide, however, the number of active burrows was still reduced 77% in September the following year. Strychnine with prebait treatment showed initial reductions of 83% in burrow activity. Bait consumption by prairie dogs was highest for zinc phosphide.