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Prairie Potholes


aerial photo of prairie pothole wetlands in South Dakota

Ten thousand years ago the great ice sheet covering eastern South Dakota retreated leaving behind in its path poorly drained and frequently flooded depressions called potholes. At the time of the European settlement, these depressions, being surrounded by a sea of grass, became known as "prairie potholes". It is estimated that over 35% of these pothole wetlands were drained since the turn of the century. Today, there exists approximately 1.7 million acres of wetlands in eastern South Dakota.

Restoring, enhancing, and protecting wetland and grassland communities provides habitat for a vast array of indigenous wildlife species.  Although projects may target a specific species, such as planting grass seed to provide nesting habitat for waterfowl, all species that evolved in a grassland/wetland complex will benefit from grass seeding projects.  Native ground nesting birds will be provided additional nesting habitat, threatened or endangered species will be provided restored habitat to pioneer, and prairie stream species will be afforded cleaner runoff from their contributing watersheds.

white-tailed deer photo coyote photo
muskrat photo

     


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