Soil Health Labs

38 Biologist-Rancher Promotes Ranch Health with Prairie Dog Ecosystem

Episode Summary

Dr. Shaun Grassel is a wildlife biologist who works out on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation’s headquarters for the tribe’s Department of Wildlife, Fish and Recreation.  In addition, Shaun has recently taken a more active role in managing his family land in Lower Brule. In this episode, we discuss Dr. Grassel’s work with prairie dogs and the re-introduction of the black footed ferret, the natural predator of the prairie dog.  There is a wide range of attitudes toward prairie dogs amongst ranchers and how they deal with them, and Dr. Grassel discusses this in the podcast.  There is a very interesting part where he discusses the dynamic nature of prairie dog's interactions with their predators, black footed ferrets and their interactions with livestock. We are posting this as a special feature because we think this discussion, especially looking at re-introducing black footed ferrets into P-dog towns may be of interest to west river ranchers. Dr. Grassel can be reached at the Lower Brule Department of Wildlife, Fish and Recreation Dr. Shaun Grassel’s Research Gate profile also provides one with an insight into his research interests Also please visit the SD NRCS Range and Pasture website for more information at: