Factors limiting the expansion of black-tailed prairie dog colonies at their northern extent
Singh, Tehlu (author)
Ransome, Doug (thesis advisor)
British Columbia Institute of Technology School of Construction & Environment (Degree granting institution)
Simon Fraser University Faculty of Environment (Degree granting institution)
© Tehlu Singh, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright heron may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means - graphics, electronic, or mechanical including photocopying, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems - without written permission of the author.
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are considered a keystone species due to their ecological role in maintaining the prairies. In Canada, they are federally listed as a threatened species. This study was conducted to identify the limiting factors to the expansion of prairie dog colonies in Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan. I tested different hypotheses to compare landforms, vegetation, and soil characteristics in three treatments: consistently occupied (Consistent), inconsistently occupied (Inconsistent), and never occupied (Buffer) by prairie dogs. I sampled four prairie dog colonies (blocks) from 17 July 2019 to 28 August 2019 using a randomized complete block design. I used ANOVA to test variables for significant differences among treatments. My results showed that hills, water channel, shrublands, grass cover, shrub cover and vegetation height classes (>30 cm) were significantly higher (p <0.05) in Buffer compared to Consistent and Inconsistent. Shrubs and tall vegetation should be mowed down to enhance the expansion of prairie dog colonies for restoring their population.
Master of Science