Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Kenneth F. Higgins


western willet, marbled godwit, upland sandpiper, south dakota, birds, game birds


In order to develop comprehensive conservation plans for western willets (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus inornatus), marbled godwits (Limosa fedoa), and upland sandpipers (Bartramia longicauda), 3 upland nesting shorebird species, biologists need access to current and former literature and occurrence records. The primary goal of this project was to compile, review, and synthesize the major records and research relative to these 3 species. During 2005 and 2006, I reviewed and synthesized all pertinent data and information found in approximately 1,500 articles of gray and scientific literature relative to South Dakota and surrounding states from the period of 1843-2006. In general, I found a nearly uniform lack of baseline data for all aspects of life history, population status and trends, distribution, habitat needs, and structured survey methodology relative to all 3 species, both temporally and spatially, during over 150 years of accounts and research pertinent to South Dakota. Occurrence records were sparse and most of the data collected relative to these 3 species were incidental to waterfowl, other game bird, and passerine bird studies conducted in South Dakota. Despite the lack and inconsistencies of records and research specific to willets, marbled godwits, and upland sandpipers, it was apparent that all 3 species prefer larger patches of native grassland habitats that are grazed and intermixed with multiple wetlands types within the landscape. Recommendations relative to the management and future research needs to ensure the future welfare, and maintain or enhance the productivity of willets, marbled godwits, and upland sandpipers in South Dakota are provided and focus on filling the primary absences in life history data and the preservation of large intact grasslands containing a mosaic of vegetation heights and wetland complexes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Shore birds -- South Dakota
Upland game birds -- South Dakota
Godwits -- South Dakota
Upland sandpiper -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (page 198-210)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright ©2001 Dawn M. Gardner. All rights reserved.