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Prairie Dog Empire: A Saga of the Shortgrass Prairieby Paul A. Johnsgard
Synopses & Reviews
This book by the renowned naturalist and writer Paul A. Johnsgard tells the complex biological and environmental story of the western Great Plains under the black-tailed prairie dogs reign—and then under a brief but devastating century of human dominion.
An introduction to the ecosystem of the shortgrass prairie, Prairie Dog Empire describes in clear and detailed terms the habitat and habits of black-tailed prairie dogs; their subsistence, seasonal behavior, and the makeup of their vast colonies; and the ways in which their “towns” transform the surrounding terrain—for better or for worse. Johnsgard recounts how this terrain has in turn been transformed over the past century by the destruction of prairie dogs and their grassland habitats. This book also offers a rare and invaluable close-up view of the rich history and threatened future of the creature once considered the “keystone” species of the western plains.
Included are maps, drawings, and listings of more than two hundred natural grassland preserves where many of the regions native plants and animals may still be seen and studied.
About the Author
Paul A. Johnsgard is Foundation Regents Professor Emeritus in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the winner of the 2004 National Conservation Achievement Award and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, both sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, and the author of more than five dozen books on natural history, including Sandhill and Whooping Cranes: Ancient Voices over Americas Wetlands (available in a Bison Books edition).
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