Details of this species in Montana
Source: Adjemian et al. 2007
Arrival Date: 1935
Species Notes for this Location:
Management Notes for this Location:
A number of authors have proposed a trophic-cascade hypothesis for human plague that hypothesizes high precipitation increases plant productivity, which increases rodent and flea populations 1-2 years later. Increased rodent populations lead to higher contact rates between host and vector and higher rates of transmission to humans (e.g. Enscore et al. 2002 in Collinge et al. 2005). Collinge et al investigated whether this trophic cascade model fitted for prairie dog populations in Montana and Colorado. They found evidence in support of the temperature-modulated trophic-cascade hypothesis for plague occurrence in the Montana study area, but no evidence supporting this hypothesis in Colorado. However this may be due to a lack of data or differences in landscape features that affect plague transmission. Plague in prairie dogs has previously been considered highly unpredictable in space and time. However models produced by Collinge and colleagues (2005) that relate climate and plague occurrence in the Montana study area suggest that it may be possible, with further research, to reveal strong relationships between climate and plague occurrence and make predictions about patterns of plague occurrence in certain areas. In areas where climate in more variable, such as Colorado, other factors may better predict plague occurrence in prairie dogs (Collinge et al. 2005).
Pathogenic: Unconfirmed epizootics with die-offs of ground squirrels were observed as early as 1929 in Oregon and Nevada, 1930 in Washington, 1932 in Idaho, and 1933 in Montana, and die-offs of prairie dogs suspected to be caused by plague were reported in Arizona in 1932
Last Modified: 19/02/2010 2:39:35 p.m.