Endangered Species
Ecological Services

Stories from - SOUTH DAKOTA

View All Stories

Tribal Collaboration Advances Black-footed Ferret Recovery in South Dakota

It's not every day a species deemed extinct is rediscovered, but this is how the story goes for the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes)—North America's rarest mammal... Read More

Stories from - SOUTH DAKOTA

View All Stories

The Fourth of July and Black-footed Ferrets

The Fourth of July has become one of the most important events in our nation's history. In 2007, the typically festive day in mid-summer also the beginning of... Read More

Featured Species in South Dakota

Whooping crane. Photo credit: USFWS

Whooping crane

The whooping crane is one of the most, if not the most, endangered birds in North America. A combination of hunting and habitat loss nearly drove the species to extinction in the 1940s.

More »


Whooping crane.

Photo credit: USFWS

Black-footed ferret. Photo credit: Ryan Hagerty, USFWS

Black-footed ferret

The black-footed ferret was considered extinct or nearly extinct when a small population was located in Mellette County, South Dakota in 1964. Still, the black-footed ferret remains one of the most endangered mammals in North America.

More »


Black-footed ferret.

Photo credit: Ryan Hagerty, USFWS

Pallid sturgeon, photo credit:  Ken Bouc, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Pallid sturgeon

Pallid sturgeon are slow growing fish that feed primarily on small fish and immature aquatic insects. This species of sturgeon is seldom seen and is one of the least understood fish in the Missouri and Mississippi River drainages.     More »


Pallid sturgeon.

Photo credit: Ken Bouc,
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Partnership Stories in South Dakota

A History of Black-Footed Ferrets. Credit: USFWS

A History of Black-Footed Ferrets

This video chronicles the rediscovery of black-footed ferrets in Wyoming 30 years ago. At that time, black-footed ferrets were thought to be extinct. The rediscovery set in motion one of the most successful conservation efforts in history. More »

Found in South Dakota

  • American burying beetle, Photo credit: USFWS

    The American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) is a large black insect with two distinct orange bands on each wing cover. These carrion beetles lay their eggs in the carcass of small animals, so the availability of carcasses is very influential on its reproductive success. Competition with other carrion eating insects, maggots and mammal scavengers has contributed to its decline.

    Photo credit: USFWS

  • Western prairie fringed orchid, Photo credit: USFWS

    The western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) is the only federally listed plant species in South Dakota. It was historically found throughout the tallgrass regions of North America. It has experienced at least a 60 percent decline from historic levels. The greatest threat to the prairie fringed orchid is habitat loss, mostly through conversion to cropland.

    Photo credit: USFWS

See other species listed in South Dakota
Last updated: June 4, 2020