Great Basin Naturalist


In 1983 zinc phosphide, strychnine with prebait, and strychnine without prebait were applied to black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in west central South Dakota. Short-term (four days later) and long-term (one year later) impacts of the rodenticides on Horned Larks (Eremophila alpestris) and other granivorous birds inhabiting prairie dog colonies were evaluated. Hrned Larks and 49 other bird species were observed. Immediate impacts reduced Horned Lark relative densities 66% with strychnine only and 55% with prebaited strychnine. Zinc phosphide caused no measurable reduction. Horned Larks showed no long-term direct impacts. Indirect negative impacts occurred through habitat changes following prairie dog control. The granivorous guild showed no short- or long-term effects.