Increased Lesser Earless Lizard (Holbrookia maculata) Abundance on Gunnison's Prairie Dog Colonies and Short Term Responses to Artificial Prairie Dog Burrows

Jon R. Davis, Tad C. Theimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Our studies of the association between the lesser earless lizard (Holbrookia maculata) and Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) revealed: (1) the lesser earless lizard was more abundant on prairie dog colonies than off; (2) lesser earless lizard abundance was positively correlated with prairie dog burrow abundance; (3) lesser earless lizards responded positively to artificial burrows created on noncolonized areas; and (4) lesser earless lizards used prairie dog burrows as refuges from predators; however, the relative use of burrows was greatest at high and low temperature extremes. Although prairie dogs alter habitat in many ways, our study suggests that burrows are an important mechanism involved in the association between the lesser earless lizard and Gunnison's prairie dogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-290
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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