US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Prairie Nat. 15(4), 1983, pp. 173-187.


Wooded draws represent a unique vegetative community within the northern Great Plains. Because of their limited extent over broad areas of grasslands, wooded draws offer potentially diverse breeding areas for a large array of birds and mammals. Seabloom et al. (1978) reported that although wooded habitats made up only 8.6% of their area sampled in southwestern North Dakota, nearly 33% of the observed vertebrate fauna occupied wooded habitats.
Little information is available on vertebrate communities in wooded vegetation of western North Dakota. Hopkins (1980) studied the breeding avifaunas of several habitat types in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Hiemenz and Cassel (1980) reported on bird and mammal communities in west-central North Dakota in 1979 and 1980. Grosz et al. (1981) studied wildlife use of draws in the same general area. Gaines and Kohn (1982) found that wooded draws in western North Dakota surrounded by upland native prairie provided important habitat for nesting Swainson's and red-tailed hawks (scientific names are presented in the Annotated Species Accounts).