Endangered Species
Midwest Region



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Dakota skipper (Hesperia dacotae)

Status: Proposed as Threatened


Proposal to List as Threatened and Designate Critical Habitat

Dakota skipper on prairie lily.

Photo by USFWS; Phil Delphey


Status: Proposed as Threatened


Habitat: High quality tallgrass and mixed grass prairie


Lead Region: 3


Region 3 Lead Office: Twin Cities Field Office


Range: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota


Proposal to List Dakota skipper as Threatened and Proposal to Designate Critical Habitat


New! Section 7 Consultation Guidance


September 23, 2014: Draft Economic Analysis of Critical Habitat Available; Re-opening Comment Period on Critical Habitat Proposal and 4(d) Rule Proposal


October 24, 2013: Proposal to List Dakota skipper as Threatened and Proposal to Designate Critical Habitat


The Dakota skipper is a small- to mid-sized butterfly that inhabits high-quality tallgrass and mixed-grass prairie in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in the United States, and the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada. The species is presumed to be extirpated from Iowa and Illinois and from many sites within occupied its range in the United States.


The Dakota skipper is threatened by degradation of its native prairie habitat by overgrazing, invasive species, gravel mining, and herbicide applications; inbreeding, population isolation, and prescribed fire threaten some populations.


Dakota Skipper Natural History and Status:

Dakota Skipper Fact Sheet


Proposal to List as Threatened


Dakota Skipper Status Assessment (June 2002) PDF; 84 pages; 600KB


Dakota Skipper Conservation and Management:

Dakota Skipper Conservation Guidelines (revised January 2014)


Dakota Skipper Section 7 Guidance


Private Stewardship Grant (May 2007): Restore Native Prairie and Oak Savanna Communities In the Little Sioux Watershed in Northwest Iowa – Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, and O’Brien Counties, Iowa


Private Stewardship Grant (2005): Imperiled Species Conservation on Private Land in Western Minnesota (Wilkin, Ottertail, Grant, Pope, Kandiyohi, Big Stone, Yellow Medicine and Lac Qui Parle counties, Minnesota)




Midwest Endangered Species Home


Last updated: September 22, 2014