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)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Walter G. Duffy


An increasingly large percentage of wetland loss has occurred due to highway development within the last twenty years. In an attempt to compensate for these losses, the Federal Highway Administration has adopted new wetland mitigation policies. To facilitate the implementation of these policies, the South Dakota State Department of Transportation (SDDOT) would like to establish design criteria for the construction of compensation wetlands in South Dakota. In 1995 and 1996, I sampled the bird, amphibian and turtle, fish, butterfly, and mammal communities of 27 natural, restored, dam-created, and borrow-pit wetlands in the James River Lowland and Prairie Coteau physiographic regions of eastern South Dakota. Analysis of variance indicated differences among wetland types based on bird richness and diversity. In addition, engineering design criteria and environmental factors of each study wetland were used in step-wise multiple regression models to determine which factors best explained faunal richness and diversity. The best models, based on the bird communities, explained 27 and 44% of the variation in wetland diversity and richness, respectively. Engineering and environmental factors also influenced amphibian and turtle and fish richness and explained 23 and 17% of the variation, respectively. Factors used in these models are included in construction guidelines that will optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of future wetland creation and restoration projects endeavored by the SDDOT.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wetland animals -- Ecology -- Prairie Pothole Region
Wetland ecology -- Prairie Pothole Region
Restoration ecology -- Prairie Pothole Region
Constructed wetlands -- Prairie Pothole Region


Includes bibliographical references (page 32-36)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1997 Kjersten Larson. All rights reserved.