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Utah prairie dogs have been extirpated in 90% of their historical range. Because most of the population occurs on private land, this threatened species is continually in conflict with land-owners due to burrowing. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has been relocating Utah prairie dogs from private to public land since the 1970s, but relocations have been largely unsuccessful due to high mortality. Utah prairie dogs were relocated in 2010 and 2011 from the golf course in Cedar City, Utah to two prepared sites near Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. Vegetation transects were established at each site to determine if there was a correlation between site vegetation composition and structure, and Utah prairie dog survival at relocation sites. The vegetation at the two sites was significantly different. One site had significantly less grass cover, more invasive plant cover, and rockier soils. The sites also had different soil structures and long-term Utah prairie dog retention rates. Newly established burrows were clustered rather than randomly distributed. Utah prairie dogs appeared to avoid placing burrows in areas with tall vegetation and rocky soils. More research is needed to determine how site selection determines longterm retention and colonization of a relocation site.
Interest in Bordetella holmesii is increasing, but very little is known about this bacterium, which can be
isolated from both blood and respiratory samples. In this study, we compared a B. holmesii isolate from the blood
sample of an adult with bacteremia with another isolate from a nasopharyngeal swab from an adult with
whooping cough syndrome. Genetic analysis was carried out, targeting relevant
genes, and virulence properties were studied in cellular and animal models. Our genomic analysis provided no evidence of
traits specific to either blood or respiratory isolates of B. holmesii. Neither isolate was cytotoxic to human tracheal
epithelial cells. Both isolates were only weakly invasive and they did not
persist within epithelial cells for less than 48 h.