Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Dakota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

South Dakota Project

Human Dimensiosn of Habitat Loss in the Plains & Prairie Pothole Region

August 2014 - August 2018


Participating Agencies

  • US Fish and Wildlfie Service - Plains and Prairie Pothole Landscape Conservation Cooperative

The Plains & Prairie Potholes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PPP-LCC) identified habitat loss (factors influencing land use and land conversion) as a key research need because this grassland-wetland ecosystem provides essential habitat for an array of wildlife, especially waterfowl. Research has identified temperate grasslands are one of the most threatened biomes worldwide, with the greatest threat being conversion to annual crop production. This project was funded by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Having an understanding of how private landowners respond to economic incentives/pressures and other driving forces behind decisions about farming/ranching practices may identify strategies to reduce habitat loss in the plains and prairie pothole region. For example, how a farmer/rancher sees their role and responsibilities related to the environment may play a significant role in decision making.

Research Publications Publication Date
Sweikert, L.A., and L.M. Gigliotti. 2018. A values-based landowner typology to improve grassland conservation initiatives. Society & Natural Resources, 32(2):167-183. December 2018
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Sweikert, Lily, A. 2017. Human dimensions of habitat loss in the Plains and Prairie Pothole Ecoregion. Ph.D. Dissertation. South Dakota State university. August 2017