Photographic book

Wild animals of South Dakota


Landcape of South Dakota
Landcape of South Dakota

Wildlife in South Dakota has been greatly reduced as a result of extensive human settlement. The great herds of bison that once roamed the plains are now restricted to preserves and private ranches. One of the largest herds in the world has been preserved in Custer State Park. Populations of coyote, the state animal, declined in the mid-1900s but have grown tremendously in recent years. Elk (wapiti) and white-tailed deer are still to be found in the Black Hills, as are the mountain goat, bighorn sheep, and feral burros. Smaller mammals in the Black Hills include the bobcat (see Lynx), beaver, porcupine, and red squirrel. Antelope, mule deer, white-tailed deer, jackrabbit, coyote, kit fox, raccoon, and prairie dog are common on the plains. Jackrabbit, white-tailed deer, and gopher are found in the prairies of the east.

Among the numerous species of birds found in the state are the western meadowlark, northern flicker, American goldfinch, belted kingfisher, American robin, brown thrasher, redwing blackbird, yellow-headed blackbird, Chinese pheasant, Hungarian partridge (or gray partridge), and Chinese ring-necked pheasant, which is the state bird. Sage grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, prairie chickens, and wild turkeys are found on the prairies and plains, but are most abundant in the Black Hills. Walleye, northern pike, smallmouth black bass, and other game fish are found in the lakes of the northeast. Walleye and northern pike are also found in the Missouri River reservoirs, along with maintained populations of salmon. Brook, rainbow, and brown trout thrive in the streams of the Black Hills. Catfish are common in the state’s rivers. "South Dakota" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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