Mammals of Northwestern South Dakota

Mammals of Northwestern South Dakota

by Kenneth W. Andersen and J. Knox Jones

Mammals of Northwestern South Dakota – The mammalian fauna of the western Dakotas and adjacent Montana is poorly known. Few published reports have dealt with mammals from this part of the Northern Great Plains, and none of this involved detailed study of a restricted area.

The present report summarizes information gathered in Harding County, northwestern South Dakota, and includes material on the more than 50 species of mammals that are known to occur there.

Harding County has an area of approximately 2700 square miles (Fig. 1). The county first was organized in 1881, but the present boundaries were not fixed until 1908.

Physiographical, it lies in that part of the Missouri Plateau frequently termed the “Cretaceous Table Lands.” The general topography is one of rolling hills and flats–mostly range land vegetated by short grasses and sage–broken by spectacular buttes and hills that rise 400 to 600 or more feet above the surrounding plains.


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