Over the last fifty years, technology has changed the way we live. Cities are sprawling out into rural areas and we are building bigger homes in the country. As cities grow into the countryside, critical wildlife habitat is altered or removed.

Technology has also affected agriculture, leading to larger farms and ranches. All of these changes have greatly diminished habitat for wildlife. Habitat provides wildlife all its basic needs…food, water, shelter and space to live. Some animals require a very specific habitat while others can adapt easily to changes in their surroundings.

Birds that rely on grasslands for food and nesting are particularly hard hit. But with the help and guidance of conservation districts, people are learning how to share the landscape with our backyard wildlife friends.

Thanks to local, state and federal conservation programs, wildlife habitat is being restored in the country and even in urban areas. Efforts have grown steadily as public policy makers, wildlife groups and farm interests work to together find effective wetland protection approaches. Landowners are able to apply for cost-share to provide an area where wildlife will flourish when properly managed.

Animal Resource Concerns

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Livestock Production Limitation

Feed & Forage Balance

All kinds and classes of livestock require a proper balance of feed and forage to meet nutritional needs and production goals.

Livestock require five major classes of nutrients: energy, protein, minerals, vitamins, and water. All five are essential for normal health and production. Next to water, the greatest requirement is for energy, followed by protein, with minerals and vitamins needed in very small amounts. Without adequate energy from feed or forage, utilization of all other nutrients is impaired.

Inadequate Livestock Shelter

Livestock require adequate shelter from climatic conditions to meet basic needs. Examples include protection from wind or sun, or providing a diverse habitat which limits excessive use or crowding.

Inadequate Livestock Water Quantity, Quality, and Distribution

This resource concern refers to the availability and quality of water needed to meet basic needs for the kind and class of livestock using the particular piece of land. Improper distribution of water sources may lead to a negative impact on other resources.

Providing proper water needs is important to the production value of livestock, and the placement of watering systems have an impact of how livestock travel and use the landscape. Proper structure of these systems is also important to the plant communities that exist on the landscape.

Terrestrial Habitat

Terrestrial Habitat for Wildlife & Invertebrates

Quantity, quality or connectivity of food, cover, space, shelter, and/or water is inadequate to meet requirements of identified terrestrial wildlife or invertebrate species.

Aquatic Habitat

Aquatic Habitat for Fish & Other Organisms

Habitat requirements of identified fish and other organisms are inadequate.

Elevated Water Temperature

As water temperature rises, there is a corresponding decrease in the availability of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other gases important for aquatic life. Elevated water temperature can increase the dissolving of minerals that can further degrade water quality.

South Dakota Department of Agriculture
South Dakota Department of Agriculture