Date of Award

12-10-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Biology

First Advisor

H. Thomas Goodwin

Second Advisor

Cheryl Trine

Abstract

The ranges of two species of prairie dogs, Cynomys leucurus and Cynomys ludovicianus, overlap in a narrow area in the western Great Plains in Wyoming. We used GIS software to map their distributions and infer land cover preferences within and on either side of the zone of overlap. In general, both species used habitats in proportion to their availability and did not display strong selection of their expected vegetation types (based on the literature). However, both species of prairie dogs were overrepresented in areas of human settlements and crops, which may indicate that these species prefer human-modified habitats, or perhaps that more people look for prairie dogs in those areas.

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