Museum, University of Nebraska State


Date of this Version



Occasional Papers of the Museum of Texas Tech University (November 3, 1972) number 6, 36 pages.


Copyright 1972, Texas Tech University Museum. Used by permission.


The distribution of the mammals in the southwestern part of North Dakota and their ecological and taxonomic relationships have not been well documented. In addition to Vernon Bailey's (1927) survey of mammals of the state, based primarily upon field work conducted between 1912 and 1916, the only other principal studies dealing with the mammalian fauna of southwestern North Dakota were a preliminary report of the mammals of the state by Bailey et al. (1914) and the publication by J.A. Allen (1875) on mammals taken by the expedition that surveyed a route for the North Pacific Railway. Our studies, which were confined to that part of North Dakota bordered on the east and north by the Missouri River (Figure I), began in 1961 when members of a summer field course in vertebrate zoology from the University of Kansas collected briefly in Slope County. In the summers of 1965 and 1970, other field classes worked in Billings, Bowman, and Dunn counties. Also in the summer of 1970, studies were conducted on small mammals on the Grasslands Biome Comprehensive Site (International Biological Program) near Dickinson, Stark County, and in adjacent areas.

Thirty-nine species of mammals were collected or observed in the course of field work in southwestern North Dakota. In the following accounts, we have attempted to summarize ecological and distributional data for each species, and have appended taxonomic comments where appropriate. It is hoped that this study, together with those by Andersen and Jones (1971) on northwestern South Dakota and one underway by Richard P. Lampe and associates (see Lampe, 1971) on southeastern Montana, will provide a better understanding of the mammalian fauna of this important region of the Northern Great Plains.