Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2002


Published in Great Plains Research 12:2 (Fall 2002): 255-60. Copyright © 2002 Center for Great Plains Studies.


Determination of the historical distribution and abundance of the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicanus) is important as a component of the science underlying decisions on the future management of this species. Clearly, we differ from Knowles and colleagues (2002) in our interpretation of those data (see below). In addition, Knowles et al. (2002) introduce other lines of evidence rather than focusing on the historical record as we did. The new lines of evidence they present include physical evidence, contemporary knowledge of prairie dog ecology, and distribution of the black-footed ferret, Mustela nigripes. Unfortunately, these new lines of evidence are incomplete and not sufficient to refute our interpretation of the historical evidence we presented.