Drought conditions take a toll on South Dakota wildlife

May 16, 2022

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The ongoing drought in South Dakota has been hard on the state’s wildlife.

The U.S. Forest Service says the grouse population in the Fort Pierre National Grassland has declined by 15% in 2022, largely because of the dry conditions.

The total grouse population has averaged around 300 since the mid-1980s.

Over the last twenty years, both greater prairie chicken and sharp-tailed grouse populations have primarily remained stable or have grown.

Duck production is expected to decline because natural wetlands and stock ponds need water.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a little more than 76% of South Dakota is experiencing some kind of drought.