Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Whenever man has gone he has changed his environment to suit his needs. Because of his need for food, man has plowed up the prairies and converted the grasslands to grain fields. Before white man settled the Great Plains, range rodents such as the prairie dog and the ground squirrel existed undisturbed and unmolested except by their natural predators. With the advent of cultivated crops, the range herbivores found a new and tasty source of food. Among these primary consumers which took advantage of man’s interference with the natural prairie was the Richardson ground squirrel, Citellus richardsoni (Figure 1). During the past few years, the Richardson ground squirrel has been found in increasing numbers in the central part of South Dakota. There has been very little investigation of this species of ground squirrel in the United States although some work has been done in Canada. The purpose of this study is (1) to determine the habits and activities in the life cycle of the Richardson ground squirrel; and (2) to compare these data with those indicated by other authors. Richardson ground squirrels do considerable damage to grain crops, soil, forage crops, and farm lands, and they are also a potential reservoir for bubonic plague.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ground squirrels


Includes bibliographical references (pages 77-78)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only