South Dakota Geography

According to Ablogtophone, South Dakota is located in the Midwest region of the United States. It is bordered by North Dakota to the north, Minnesota and Iowa to the east, Nebraska to the south, and Wyoming and Montana to the west. The Missouri River forms its eastern boundary with Iowa and Nebraska. South Dakota is divided into two distinct geographic regions: East River and West River. East River encompasses a large portion of South Dakota’s eastern half, stretching from North Dakota in the north to Nebraska in the south. It is composed mainly of rolling hills, prairies, and rivers that flow eastward into Lake Oahe on the Missouri River. The Missouri Plateau covers much of East River’s western part; it is characterized by flat plains dotted with lakes and ponds. The Black Hills are located in southwestern South Dakota along its border with Wyoming and Montana; they are home to Mount Rushmore National Memorial as well as many other national parks and monuments. West River covers South Dakota’s western half; it features rugged terrain including badlands (a type of dry terrain consisting of deep gullies), canyons, buttes, mesas, spires, ravines, rock formations, deep valleys carved by rivers such as the Cheyenne and White Rivers. Additionally, West River contains numerous mountains including Harney Peak (the highest point in South Dakota) as well as Custer State Park which has abundant wildlife such as bison herds.

Natural resources

According to Bittranslators, South Dakota is home to abundant natural resources. The state’s vast plains contain large deposits of lignite coal, clay, and shale. South Dakota also has significant deposits of minerals including uranium, molybdenum, gold, silver, zinc, lead, and copper. These resources are used in many industries such as energy production and manufacturing. South Dakota also has a variety of natural gas reserves which are used to generate electricity. South Dakota is home to diverse wildlife habitats that provide habitat for numerous species of birds, mammals, fish and reptiles. The Black Hills National Forest provides shelter for several rare species of mammals and birds while the prairies provide food and protection for thousands of grassland birds. The Missouri River traverses the state providing recreational opportunities such as fishing and boating. In addition to these natural resources South Dakota also contains many cultural attractions such as Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial and Badlands National Park which attract tourists from all over the world.


South Dakota is home to a wide variety of flora, ranging from native grasses and wildflowers to trees, shrubs, and vines. The grasslands of South Dakota are home to a variety of species such as blue grama, western wheatgrass, and big bluestem. These grasses provide essential habitat for many species of wildlife and also help to prevent soil erosion. Wildflowers are abundant throughout the state in both prairie and woodland settings. Common wildflowers in South Dakota include purple coneflower, Indian paintbrush, blanket flower, black-eyed Susan, and wild columbine. Trees are found in many areas throughout the state including forests along rivers and streams as well as stands of trees scattered throughout the landscape. Common tree species in South Dakota include bur oak, hackberry, cottonwood, green ash, and American elm. Shrubs are also common with species such as chokecherry, buffalo berry, snowberry, silverberry, and dogwood found in woodlands or around wetlands. Vines can be found climbing up trees or along fences with common species such as Virginia creeper and poison ivy often seen in these areas.


South Dakota is home to a variety of fauna, with a wide range of species inhabiting the state. Mammals such as deer, elk, bison, and pronghorn can be found throughout the state. Coyotes and foxes are also common. The black-footed ferret is an endangered species that resides in South Dakota’s grasslands. Other mammals include badgers, weasels, rabbits, skunks and raccoons. The American badger is the official state animal of South Dakota.

Birds are abundant in South Dakota and include waterfowl such as ducks, geese and swans; shorebirds such as plovers; grassland birds such as hawks; upland game birds like pheasants; songbirds such as finches and warblers; raptors like eagles and falcons; owls like great-horned owls; and crows and ravens. The endangered piping plover also lives in South Dakota’s lakeshores. Reptiles living in the state include rattlesnakes, skinks, box turtles, lizards and painted turtles. Amphibians like frogs, salamanders and toads live in ponds or marshes throughout the state. South Dakota’s fish species include walleye, trout, bass and catfish.

South Dakota Fauna