Hey Mtmiller, prairie dog count

Troy Jones

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Joined
Feb 11, 2003
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165
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Western South Dakota
Craig, Have you ever did a PD count per acre? In my data dictionary on my trimble I set up a point, line, area. Instead of a buffer, like on weeds or bio-control, I set up concentration per acre. Just a visual estimate for my own records. It is an over all PD town density guesstimate, <10, 10 - 20, 20 -30, 30<. It helps when I go out to do control, to make sure I have enough zinc phosphide to do the job. I did about 1,500 acres this year and directed another 3,000 acres worth. So all together did 4,500 acres of dogs. Sold 5,000 lbs. of bait on top of that to ag producers. So there was roughly 8,000 acres of known PD control in Meade County for 2002. Have 11 producers lined up for next year.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 02-15-2003 09:16: Message edited by: Troy Jones ]</font>
 

mtmiller

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Montana
Alright Troy, when black-tails are listed I will let everyone know that it is your fault.
wink.gif


I conducted some visual density counts when I was with the Park Service in SD, but I can't remember exactly what kind of numbers we came up with. I think it was in the upper teens, but not 100%. I can get specifics if you would like when I get back in the office next week. I believe they are now conducting visual counts, as well as burrow transect surveys. I think burrow density is about 30-40/acre.

Obviously there are many variables on densities depending on shooting pressure (we had none in Badlands), time of year, annual precip., etc...

I would guess you murdered well over 10,000 pdogs last year.
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How many repeat applications did you need to get 100% kill and did you prebait? Did you hit every burrow, or broad-cast?

If you are dispensing at every burrow, it might be valuable to GPS each burrow if you had the time. You may also want to document sensitive associated species on pdog town (burrowing owls, ferrugs, curlews, etc...).

I am sure you can find some folks on this board who would be willing to help erradicate pdogs by lead poisoning. I am assuming all your efforts are on private lands?
 

Troy Jones

New member
Joined
Feb 11, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Western South Dakota
Craig, we pre-bait, but don't go back a second time. We never get them all. We go by the old State guidelines of 85% control or better. Any follow up is up to the land owner. We have had an average of 15 to 20 dog an acre. The problem is the uproar about the Black tailed PD, now everyone wants to get rid of them.

I believe there is a hidden agenda. A little bit of history. BTPD populations have steadily rose since the removal of 10-80 for PD control. I believe that was in the sixties, you would know better. Of course the plaque has hit most States, which was the initial cause for the movement. South Dakota has not had that problem.

I was notified that SD has the highest PD population per all the States, with most all towns in the Western half. They have been doing an aerial survey, with 2/3 of Western SD done. They found over 7000 PD towns. They haven't even hit the far West that include Meade, Butte, Perkins, Harding Counties. The survey area they have covered is mostly farming area, with the exception to some of the Indian trust lands. I think those numbers will almost double when complete.

It's funny how the feds plan keep jumping up their sustainable PD acres. First it was 80,000 then it was 130,000, now I hear it is going to go up again. It seems that the more acreage found the higher they want the numbers in their plan. First mistake was taking the PD control away from the Dept. of Ag. and giving it to the SD game and fish. We will be doing some contract work for the Stockgrowers. When the feds data comes in they want us to do some ground truthing on some of the towns.

I would like to tell people where to shoot them, but I can't. If I were to be giving names of ranchers out to strangers, I would get really unpopular in a hurry. I am sure eventually there will be a list compiled by the government. Let them be the bad guy. If everything goes as planned, there will be no ranchers and it will be one big prairie dog town. Just another playground of the rich.

I am concerned about poisoning black footed ferrets, because I like killing them with my bare hands. Just kidding Miller!
 
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