North Dakota's Unique Lands, Waters, and Wildlife
North Dakota is a prairie state harboring hundreds of thousands of wetlands and prairie potholes. Bison skulls still lay in prairie streams and lakes today, reminders of the animals that inhabited this unique ecosystem. Baird’s sparrows fill the prairie with song heard in few other places. Endless flocks of migrating ducks and geese find food and rest on countless wetlands or rivers. North Dakota is one of the last strongholds for the ancient pallid sturgeon.
North Dakota's Planning Approach
The North Dakota Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy is a habitat-based approach to conserving all types of fish and wildlife including rare, declining, common, nongame and game species. Nine landscape components, or major habitat types such as mixed-grass prairie, wetlands/lakes, badlands, or upland deciduous forest, comprise the habitat found in North Dakota. Twenty-one focus areas represent unique natural community types rare to North Dakota or are habitats outlined as especially crucial to species of conservation priority. The key to ensuring long-term survival of these resources in North Dakota is to maintain diverse grasslands, wetlands, woodlands, rivers and streams.
Primary Challenges to North Dakota's Wildlife
North Dakota’s plan identifies habitat loss, fragmentation, degradation, invasive and noxious species, pesticides, industrial development, human impacts, and conservation awareness as common challenges for managing fish and wildlife across all habitat types.
- Summary of North Dakota Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (.pdf, 481 KB)
- North Dakota Game and Fish Department Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy Web Site