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Fragile Legacy

Endangered, Threatened & Rare Animals of South Dakota

JPG--species photo

Written by
Diane E. Ashton and Eileen M. Dowd

Originally Published by
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks
Wildlife Division
523 E. Capitol, Pierre, SD 57501


The settlement of North America brought with it many land management practices that altered or destroyed wildlife habitat. Such practices have included draining of wetlands, damming of rivers and streams, cutting of woodlands, plowing of native prairie, controlling natural fires and overgrazing, as well as introduction of exotic species and chemical pollution. Commercial exploitation of species for hides, pelts, medicinal or food purposes has also affected a number of species.

Although, as a society, we have become more aware of the sometimes fragile balance of nature and of the repercussions of our actions and inactions, species continue to decline, sometimes to the irreversible point of extinction.

This resource contains accounts of some of South Dakota's rarest animal species. If we believe that our natural world is a reflection of our environment's health and that this natural world is an important component of our "quality of life", it is the responsibility of each of us to safeguard these rare animals, not only during our lifetimes, but as a legacy for future South Dakotans.

NOTE: The material in this resource is based on information published in 1991. For more current information about endangered and threatened species, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species Program web site.

This resource is based on the following source:

Ashton, Diane E. and Eileen M. Dowd.  1991.  Fragile legacy.  Endangered, 
     threatened and rare animals of South Dakota.  South Dakota Department of 
     Game, Fish and Parks, Report No. 91-04.  56pp.
This resource should be cited as:
Ashton, Diane E. and Eileen M. Dowd.  1991.  Fragile legacy.  Endangered, 
     threatened and rare animals of South Dakota.  South Dakota Department of 
     Game, Fish and Parks, Report No. 91-04.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie 
     Wildlife Research Center Online. 
     (Version 08DEC97).


Protection of Rare Species in South Dakota
The Fragile Legacy of South Dakota's Rare Species

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Whooping Crane (Grus americana)
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis)
Interior Least Tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos)
Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii)

Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus)
Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus)
Pearl Dace (Semotilus margarita)
Central Mudminnow (Umbra limi)
Sturgeon Chub (Hybopsis gelida)
Sicklefin Chub (Hybopsis meeki)
Longnose Sucker (Catostomus catostomus)
Plains Topminnow (Fundulus sciadicus)
Trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus)
Northern Redbelly Dace (Phoxinus eos)
Finescale Dace (Phoxinus neogaeus)
Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)

American Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus americanus)
Dakota Skipper (Hesperia dacotae)
Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)
Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera)
False Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica)
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos)
Northern Redbelly Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata)
Lined Snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum)
Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma douglassii)
Black-footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes)
Mountain Lion (Felis concolor)
River Otter (Lutra canadensis)
Black Bear (Ursus americana)
Swift Fox (Vulpes velox)
Marten (Martes americana)
Fringe-tailed Myotis (Myotis thysanodes pahasapensis)

Reporting Rare Species Sightings
Appendix A -- The Endangered Species Act

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