Wildlife & Habitat

Great Blue Heron flying

The John W. and Louise Seier Refuge is home to a variety of wildlife, small and big game species, such as white-tailed deer, prairie grouse and wild turkeys, as well as many other species of birds.

  • Greater Prairie Chicken

    Prairie Chicken

    The Greater Prairie Chicken or Pinnated Grouse(Tympanuchus cupido) is a large bird in the grouse family. This North American species was once abundant, but has become extremely rare or extinct over much of its range due to habitat loss. Prairie chickens do well at the Seier refuge and surrounding sandhills environment.

  • Sharp-tailed Grouse

    Amanda Sharptail 512x512

    The Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) is a medium-sized prairie grouse.

  • Whitetail Deer

    male whitetail deer 512X512

    The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru. Whitetails are a common sight at the Seier refuge.

  • Sandhills Prairie

    Sandhills Prairie - USFWS

    Nebraska Sandhills Prairie is characterized by stabilized sand dunes which are rolling to steep, irregularly shaped, and with narrow, elongated, gently sloping interdunal valleys. Essentially none of this wind-erosive type is farmed, although attempts to farm parts of the Sandhills with center pivot irrigation have been made in recent times. Uplands are grazed by livestock, and some of the wet valleys are hayed.

    The Sandhills is vegetationally distinct with big bluestem, sand bluestem, little bluestem, prairie sandreed, and needle and thread as major grasses. Other typical species are switchgrass, sand dropseed, Junegrass, sun sedge, Indiangrass, Indian ricegrass, sand muhly, sand lovegrass, blowout grass and yucca.

    (Johnson, James R. And Gary E. Larson, 1999, Grassland Plants of South Dakota and the Northern Great Plains, South Dakota State University College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, Brookings, SD 57007, 288p.)