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Flea abundance and body condition data for black-tailed prairie dogs on sites treated and not treated with "FipBit" fipronil pellets, South Dakota, 2018-2020

April 7, 2021

Flea abundance and body condition data for black-tailed prairie dogs on sites treated and not treated with "FipBit" fipronil pellets. We sampled prairie dogs at Conata Basin, Buffalo Gap National Grassland, and Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. We sampled fleas from live-trapped prairie dogs during June-October 2018, May-October 2019, and July-August 2020. Prairie dogs were sampled before and after "FipBit" treatments. We anesthetized each prairie dog with isoflurane and combed it thoroughly for 30 seconds to dislodge fleas, which fell into a plastic bin. Fleas were counted and allowed to recover from anesthesia and placed back on prairie dogs, to minimize any removal effect. We weighed prairie dogs with spring scales (grams) and measured their right hind feet with measuring tapes (millimeters). We indexed prairie dog body condition as mass:foot ratios. Effects of FipBits on flea abundance and prairie dog condition were assessed during a short-term experiment (2018) and a long-term experiment (2018-2020).