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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Walter G. Duffy


During spring migration in 1997 and 1998, more than 100 tilled and untilled temporary wetlands in Beadle County, South Dakota were surveyed for shorebird and waterfowl use. Over 5,000 shorebirds used these wetlands in both 1997 and 1998. Of the 26 shorebirds species observed, the most abundant were white-rumped, pectoral, and Baird's sandpipers. During both years, the peak of shorebird migration occurred during the second and third weeks of May. Seven dabbling duck species were observed in temporary wetlands, but only four were abundant (blue-winged teal, mallard, northern shoveler, and northern pintail). The abundance of shorebirds and waterfowl among cover types (tilled no vegetation, tilled vegetation present, untilled with cattle, untilled no cattle) varied between years. Vegetation height and coverage in temporary wetlands changed between 1997 and 1998 creating different habitat conditions in wetlands within each cover type. These results suggest that habitat conditions rather than tillage or grazing practice determine whether shorebirds or waterfowl use temporary wetlands. Using sweep and core samples, numerous and diverse invertebrate taxa were collected from six tilled and untilled temporary wetlands. During both years, most invertebrate taxa were more abundant in untilled than tilled wetlands. Tilled and untilled temporary wetlands in Beadle County, SD provided abundant invertebrates and diverse habitat conditions. Foraging habitat is important for both waterfowl and shorebirds during spring, but shorebirds are limited to habitats with shallower water and endure longer migratory flights than waterfowl. Therefore, maintaining abundant stopover sites such as the temporary wetlands in the James River Lowlands is crucial for supporting shorebird populations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Shore birds -- Habitat -- South Dakota
Waterfowl -- Habitat -- South Dakota
Wetlands -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (page 179-189)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2001 Nicole Fredrickson Knapp. All rights reserved.