• Cattle Diets in a Ponderosa Pine Forest in the Northern Black Hills

      Uresk, D. W.; Paintner, W. W. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      A cattle diet study was conducted in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. Forty-eight plants were identified in cattle fecal material. Grasses in the feces averaged 54%, forbs 17%, and shrubs-trees 28% over the grazing season. Sedges (Carex spp.) and wheatgrass (Agropyron spp.) were the most abundant plants found in the feces throughout the season. Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), and Oregon grape (Berberis repens) were common in the diet. Shrubs and trees made up 37% of the diet in September. Similarities and rank order correlations of diets with available forage were low in August, indicating that cattle were selectively grazing.
    • Effects of Controlling Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs on Plant Production

      Uresk, D. W. (Society for Range Management, 1985-09-01)
      Plant production of 43 plant species was evaluated for three treatments after poisoning black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on rangelands in western South Dakota. The three pre-poison treatments were ungrazed (no cattle or prairie dogs), prairie dogs only, and cattle plus prairie dogs. Western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii) had lower production on the prairie dog, and cattle-prairie dog treatments 4 years after prairie dog control, when compared with no grazing. Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) showed a decrease in production on the cattle plus prairie dog grazing treatment, when compared to no grazing. Production of needleleaf sedge (Carex eleocharis) was lower on the cattle-prairie dog treatment, when compared to the prairie dog treatment. No other significant differences were observed over the 4-year period among the three treatments for all other species, including grass and forb categories. Prairie dog control did not increase plant production over a 4-year period. Additional time with reduced livestock grazing may be required to increase forage production.