Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife Management


A wildlife habitat inventory was conducted on the 12 485 ha study area of the James River floodplain in north-eastern South Dakota. Included were vegetation mapping, small mammal trapping, waterfowl breeding pair counts, waterfowl brood counts, bird census routes, and general observations. Natural vegetation consisted of 3181 ha of grassland, 2002 ha of woodland, 1115 ha of savannah, and 392 ha of marshland. Small mammal trapping revealed low densities of mostly white-footed mice (Peromyscus spp.). No vegetation type was more valuable to small mammals than any other. Waterfowl breeding pairs, mostly mallard, blue-winged teal, and wood duck, numbered 244 in 1974 and 638 in 1975, a record flood year. Counts on bird census routes showed 138 species of birds using them, with the majority being summer residents in the woodlands. Other observations showed four double-crested cormorant and great blue heron rookeries, several nesting red-tailed and Swainson’s hawks, number valuable dead trees that often formed jams in the river, and a general condition of excessive grazing on the area. The dynamic condition of the river channel on the study area appeared to enhance the value of the floodplain to wildlife although overgrazing and flooding were preventing the full potential of the floodplain as wildlife habitat from developing.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Stream ecology -- South Dakota -- James River
James River (S.D.)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 34-35)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only