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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Ecoregions of
North Dakota
South Dakota

46. Northern Glaciated Plains

46e. Tewaukon Dead Ice Moraine Level IV Ecoregion


North Dakota Ecoregions

South Dakota Ecoregions

46a. Pembina Escarpment

46b. Turtle Mountains

46c. Glacial Lake Basins

46d. Glacial Lake Deltas

46e. Tewaukon Dead Ice Moraine

46f. End Moraine Complex

46g. Northern Black Prairie

46h. Northern Dark Brown Prairie

46i. Drift Plains

46j. Glacial Outwash

46k. Prairie Coteau

46l. Prairie Coteau Escarpment

46m. Big Souix Basin

46n. James River Lowland

46o. Minnesota River Priaire

  The Northern Glaciated Plains ecoregion is characterized by a flat to gently rolling landscape composed of glacial drift. The subhumid conditions foster a grassland transitional between the tall and shortgrass prairie. High concentrations of temporary and seasonal wetlands create favorable conditions for duck nesting and migration. Though the till soil is very fertile, agricultural success is subject to annual climatic fluctuations.

GIF - Canada geese
The prairie pothole regions of North and South Dakota (42 and 46) provide prime nesting and migratory habitat for North American waterfowl.

The Tewaukon Dead Ice Moraine is a continuation of the Prairie Coteau (46k) that extends below the level of the Prairie Coteau Escarpment (461). A high density of semipermanent wetlands provide feeding and nesting habitat for dabbling ducks (blue-winged teal and mallard), and diving ducks (redhead and canvasback). Most upland areas are used for cultivated crops.


Area (square miles): 960

Elevation/Local Relief (feet): 1100-1380/5-75

Glaciated. Lower elevation extension of Prairie Coteau. Closely spaced hummocks, high wetland density.


Surficial Material and Bedrock
Wisconsinan glacial till over Cretaceous Pierre Shale


Order (Great Groups)
Mollisols (Argiborolls, haploborolls, Argiaquolls, Calciborolls)

Common Soil Series
Forman, Aastad, Buse, Parnell

Temperature/Moisture Regimes


Precipitation - Mean annual (inches)

Frost Free - Mean annual (days)

Mean Temp. - Jan. min/max; July min/max, (°F)

Potential Natural Vegetation

Western wheatgrass, green needlegrass, blue grama, needleandthread, sideoats grama.

Land Use and Land Cover

Mostly used for small grains and hay. Wetlands provide wildlife habitat.

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