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Keyword: South Dakota

Assessing temporal genetic variation in a cougar population: Influence of harvest and neighboring populations

Publications Posted on: November 18, 2016
The geography of the Black Hills region of South Dakota and Wyoming may limit connectivity for many species. For species with large energetic demands and large home ranges or species at low densities this can create viability concerns. Carnivores in this region, such as cougars (Puma concolor), have the additive effect of natural and human-induced mortality; this may act to decrease long-term viability.

Forest Service science bolsters sagebrush and sage-grouse conservation

Media Gallery Posted on: September 16, 2016
Sagebrush ecosystems are among the largest and most threatened ecosystems in North America. Greater sage-grouse has served as the bellwether for species conservation in these ecosystems and has been considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act several times. The 2016 Conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse: An assessment of USDA Forest Service Science assessment will help meet continuing widespread concerns and calls for science-based conservation to mitigate threats to sagebrush ecosystems, conserve populations of sage-grouse and other sagebrush-obligate species, and restore sagebrush ecosystems throughout the western United States. 

Forest Service science bolsters sagebrush and sage-grouse conservation

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 19, 2016
USDA Forest Service (FS) has been a leader for several decades in developing science and applications to support conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse populations. This spotlight describes an assessment that explains how and why understanding and supporting FS science is crucial for future management of sagebrush ecosystems.

Long-distance dispersal of a subadult male cougar from South Dakota to Connecticut documented with DNA evidence

Publications Posted on: June 24, 2016
We report the long-distance dispersal of a subadult male cougar (Puma concolor) from South Dakota to Milford, Connecticut, where it was struck and killed by a vehicle. Genetic samples suggest this animal originated from the Black Hills of South Dakota while isotope analysis and physical inspection revealed no evidence that the animal had been held in captivity.

Detecting swift fox: Smoked-plate scent stations versus spotlighting

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
We compared two methods of detecting presence of swift fox: smoked-plate scent stations and spotlight counts. Tracks were counted on ten 1-mile (1.6-km) transects with bait/tracking plate stations every 0.1 mile (0.16 km). Vehicle spotlight counts were conducted on the same transects. Methods were compared with Spearman's rank order correlation.

Vegetative characteristics of swift fox denning and foraging sites in southwestern South Dakota

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
Vegetative characteristics of swift fox (Vulpes velox) denning and foraging habitats were studied in southwestern South Dakota. We followed 14 radio-collared foxes over a two-year period and identified 17 den sites and 82 foraging sites. Height-density of vegetation (visual obstruction reading, VOR) was determined on each den and foraging site and on 81 randomly selected sites.

Service life of treated and untreated Black Hills ponderosa pine fenceposts

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
Service-life tests indicate that ponderosa pine fenceposts treated with preservatives performed well after field exposure of 30 years. Treating plants in the Black Hills area used commercial methods to treat the posts with creosote, pentachlorophenol, and waterborne arsenicals. Test sites were in the northern Great Plains-one in the semiarid western portion near Scenic, South Dakota, the other in the more humid eastern portion near Brookings.

Influence of mountain pine beetle epidemic on winter habitat conditions for Merriam's turkeys: Management implications for current and future condition

Publications Posted on: February 01, 2016
Understanding response of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest development following a mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae) epidemic has important management implications for winter habitat conditions for Merriam’s wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo merriami; hereafter, turkeys).

Black Hills Experimental Forest

Experimental Forests and Ranges Posted on: September 09, 2015
The Black Hills Experimental Forest is approximately 7 miles north of Pactola Visitor Center and 20 miles northwest of Rapid City, South Dakota on the Black Hills National Forest. This 1,374 hectare Experimental Forest is dominated by ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum). Other trees on the BHEF include white spruce (Picea glauca) and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).

Ponderosa pine understory vegetation recovers quickly following timber harvest

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 09, 2015
Scientists with the Rocky Mountain Research Station and university partners are investigating the short- and long-term resiliency of understory vegetation of ponderosa pine forests to a variety disturbances associated with timber harvest. Creating and maintaining a healthy forest relies on the resiliency of understory vegetation.

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