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Wildlife Management Plans

Division of Wildlife - Perpetuating the Outdoor Heritage of South Dakota - This document details the principles and philosophical foundation of resource management of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Division of Wildlife. It is intended to provide strategic guidance to every program, planning process and policy decision. It is also intended to guide the daily activities of every Division of Wildlife employee.

South Dakota Wildlife Action Plan - State wildlife agencies are eligible for federal matching funds for rare species work. This funding source is called State Wildlife Grants. In exchange, each state must have a comprehensive plan to address the needs of all fish and wildlife species, with priority on species of greatest conservation need. South Dakota's original plan was recently revised to reflect new information on fish and wildlife and new data on potential threats to their long-term sustainability.

All Bird Conservation Plan - Ecological management of nongame land birds requires determining which species and habitats are most in need of conservation. The objectives of this plan are to identify the priority species of concern in South Dakota, present their habitat requirements, and identify possible habitat management options.

Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan - this management plan was developed to address the prevention, control, and effects of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) that have invaded or may invade South Dakota's waters. The South Dakota aquatic nuisance species management plan serves as the initial step in establishing a program to specifically address ANS issues in South Dakota.

Bat Management Plan - The main goal of the South Dakota Bat Management Plan is to provide guidance promoting long-term conservation of South Dakota bat species through research, management, and education.

Bighorn Sheep in South Dakota (2013) - This action plan provides important information for the formulation of sound management, to include the current status of bighorn sheep herds, habitat potential for new sheep areas, issues and concerns, management goals, objectives and strategies to guide management of this important resource into the future.

Canada Goose Management Plan -The management goal for the resident population of giant Canada geese in South Dakota is maximum recreational opportunity consistent with the welfare of the population, habitat constraints, and landowner/public tolerances.

Deer Management Plan (2017-2023) - South Dakota’s diverse landscapes of grassland, cropland, and timbered areas are home to white-tailed deer across the entire state and mule deer primarily adjacent to and west of the Missouri River breaks.  South Dakota’s deer resources demand prudent and increasingly intensive management to accommodate numerous and varied public demands.  This plan provides important historical background and significant biological information for the formulation of sound deer management.

Elk Management Plan (2015-2019) - The elk management plan provides important historical background and significant biological information for the formulation of elk management over the next five years. Current elk survey methods and management tools are presented, along with a thorough discussion of objectives and strategies to guide management of this resource. The plan outlines a Black Hills population objective (excluding Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park) at 7,000 wintering elk, with a range of 6,000 to 8,000 elk depending on habitat conditions. The Custer State Park population objective is at 800 wintering elk, with a range of 700 to 900 elk. This plan is a working document for staff that will be amended as new biological and social data provide opportunities to improve management of elk resources in South Dakota.

Fisheries Strategic Management Plans - The strategic plan information outlined in these management plans includes specific information as it relates to statewide initiatives, Black Hills reservoirs and streams, West and East River fisheries along with the Missouri River reservoirs.

Greater Sage Grouse Management Plan - During pre-settlement time, this species was considered abundant in the western part of the state. As land-use changed with settlement, the sage grouse range shrunk as more sagebrush was lost to cropland expansion and altered by livestock grazing which impacted the natural vegetative communities and reduced available cover.

Mountain Lion Management Plan (2010-2015) This Mountain Lion Management Plan is for general, strategic guidance for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks and serves to identify the role that the agency plays, how we function and what we strive to accomplish related to mountain lion management.

Prairie Dog Management Plan - The primary goal of this plan is to manage for long-term, self-sustaining prairie dog populations in South Dakota while addressing landowner concerns and maintaining the viability of this unique grassland ecosystem. This state management plan was developed by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks and Department of Agriculture with the assistance of working groups.

Prairie Grouse Management Plan (2017-2021) - Sharp-tailed grouse and greater prairie chickens, collectively prairie grouse, are the most abundant grouse species in South Dakota (SD). The vast expanses of open grassland found throughout much of SD provide ideal habitat for these two game birds. Although slight differences in micro and macro habitat requirements exist between these two species, management strategies are similar enough to warrant one management plan for prairie grouse in South Dakota.

Pronghorn Management Plan (2014) - The pronghorn is native to North America. In 1804 journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, it was noted that pronghorn occurred in vast numbers over most of the Dakota Territory. In 1841 Maximilian recorded pronghorn as wintering west of the Missouri River along the Cheyenne River and during the spring they would swim the river to summer in the Coteau des Prairie. In the 1879 Yankton Daily Press, pronghorn were reported as abundant on the prairies east of the James River (SDGFP 1965). It has been estimated that over 700,000 pronghorn ranged in South Dakota prior to 1800.

Ring-Necked Pheasant Management Plan - The vision is to maintain abundant populations of pheasants for South Dakotans and our visitors by fostering a partnership-driven approach for habitat development and management, to ensure public access opportunities, and to increase public awareness of the broad benefits of quality habitat and hunting.

River Otter Management Plan - This management plan is intended to provide general, strategic guidance for 5 years to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department (SDGFP) and potential partners for the recovery and sustained management of the river otter in South Dakota. It identifies what we strive to accomplish related to river otter management. This plan includes working cooperatively with interested publics in both the planning process and the regular program activities related to river otter management.

Siting Guidelines for Wind Power Projects - The South Dakota Bat Working Group in cooperation with GFP compiled these siting guidelines for wind power developers and other stakeholders to utilize as they consider potential wind power sites in South Dakota.

State Management Plans for Rare Species That Live Along the Missouri River - South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks has developed a set of management plans for the four rare species that live along the Missouri River.

Topeka Shiner State Management Plan - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed the Topeka shiner as endangered in January 1999. Prior to listing, limited survey data suggested the shiner only occupied 10% of its historic range. Recent studies in South Dakota have documented the Topeka shiner in 80% of historically known streams, along with many streams where Topeka shiners were not previously reported.

Wild Turkey Management Plan (2016-2020) - Wild turkeys are classified as big game in South Dakota along with deer, antelope, elk and a few other species. This classification is due primarily to harvest management strategies employed for distributing hunting opportunity and harvest which are similar to those used in ungulate big game seasons. With the exception of the Black Hills spring and fall seasons and the spring statewide archery season, a limited number of licenses are offered in each management unit and drawings are held when the number of license applicants exceeds the number of licenses allocated.

Wildlife Habitats of LaFramboise Island: Vegetational change and management of a Missouri River Island - Some Missouri River islands in central South Dakota historically became dominated by junipers such that they became known as "cedar islands." Without intervention, this appears to be the fate of LaFramboise Island.