Cookies Policy
Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Full Access Effects of urbanization on the behaviour of a keystone species

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Effects of urbanization on the behaviour of a keystone species

Full text article:

  • PDF
Add to Favorites

image of Behaviour

Habitat fragmentation and urbanization not only cause extirpation of species, but also alter the behaviour of species in human modified areas. We evaluated behavioural characteristics of the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus), a keystone species, in the urban landscape of Denver, CO, USA. Specifically, we investigated the proportion of vigilance, foraging, and social behaviour within a system of urban colonies that varied in area, degree of connectivity, and time since isolation. Overall, rates of vigilance were lower than are typically reported for black-tailed prairie dogs in grassland habitats. Colonies that were more isolated exhibited higher levels of vigilance, but colonies isolated for a longer period of time exhibited reduced vigilance. Thus, while urban stimuli may increase alertness in the most isolated colonies, we suggest that black-tailed prairie dogs might eventually adjust to these stimuli and relax their vigilance responses. Because behaviour varies based on age of fragments, we provide evidence that black-tailed prairie dog populations are responding to urbanization through behavioural changes that may be adaptive. The ability to understand how landscape-level factors influence black-tailed prairie dog behaviour provides important information about the response of keystone species to urban settings and can aid conservation and management efforts in fragmented systems.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Conservation and Science, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL 60614, USA;, Email:; 2: Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 53706, USA


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Create email alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation