Great Basin Naturalist


In October 1991 we recorded all black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and cattle points in a 1248-km2 study area in southwest North Dakota and southeast Montana. Cattle point attractants were defined as fabricated water tanks and long-term supplemental feed sites. We found that a significant number of prairie dog colonies encompassed or adjoined cattle point attractants (p < .001). Prairie dog colonies associated with cattle point attractants were a mean distance of 1.0 km from the next nearest town. The existence of cattle point attractants may encourage prairie dog colonization. Conversely, refraining from using long-term cattle point attractants can discourage prairie dog colonization.