Animals in South Dakota

Located in the North Central United States, South Dakota features rich grasslands and prairie habitats as part of the Great Plains region. The Black Hills mark the southwestern side of the state, where the famous Mount Rushmore is located.

Hundreds of amazing animals are native to the state, thanks to the different types of habitats it offers. Wildlife-watching spots like the Badlands National Park, Black Hills National Forest, and Custer State Park attract animal enthusiasts from summer to fall every year.

Animals in South Dakota (SD)

List of Different Types of Animals Found in South Dakota


The state used to be home to grizzly bear and gray wolf, but their populations have been extirpated. The American bison and black-footed ferrets have been reintroduced to the state, and have steady populations now.


  • Northern Cardinal
  • Ring-Neck Pheasant
  • Mourning Dove
  • American Robin
  • Blue Jay
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Purple Finch
  • Canada Goose
  • Greater Prairie Chicken
  • Prairie Grouse
  • Northern Harrier


  • Common Snapping Turtle
  • Painted Turtle
  • Ornate Box Turtle
  • Common Sagebrush Lizard
  • Prairie Skink
  • Six-lined Racerunner
  • Prairie Rattlesnake
  • Ring-necked Snake
  • Plains Hog-nosed Snake
  • Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
  • Milksnake
  • Common Watersnake
  • Lined Snake
  • Smooth Green Snake
  • North American Racer
  • Western Foxsnake
  • Dekay’s Brownsnake
  • Plains Gartersnake
  • Common Gartersnake
  • Terrestrial Gartersnake
  • Gopher Snake
  • Red-bellied Snake



  • Northern Pike
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Channel Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Carp
  • Freshwater Drum
  • Sauger
  • White Bass
  • Rock Bass
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Longnose Gar
  • Bowfin
  • Shovelnose Sturgeon
  • Goldeye
  • Lake Sturgeon
  • Mooneye
  • Brook Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Black Bullhead
  • Yellow Bullhead
  • Black Crappie
  • Redhorse Sucker
  • Silver Carp
  • Bigmouth Buffalo

Insects And Invertebrates

  • Western Honey Bee
  • Cabbage White Butterfly
  • Common House Fly
  • Convergent Lady Beetle
  • American Burying Beetle
  • Mosquitoes
  • Northern Paper Wasp
  • Boxelder Bug
  • Colorado Potato Beetle
  • Western Black Widow
  • Brown Recluse
  • Common House Spider 
  • Barn Funnel Weaver
South Dakota State Animals

State Animals of South Dakota

State AnimalCoyote
State BirdRing-necked Pheasant
State FishWalleye
State InsectWestern Honey Bee


What are the most dangerous animals in South Dakota?

The deadliest animals in South Dakota include large carnivores like black bears and cougars, while the venomous prairie rattlesnakes, black widows, and brown recluses are no less dangerous. White-tailed deer, bison, and elk can also become aggressive if provoked.

Are there any endangered animals in South Dakota?

Northern long-eared bat, piping plover, red knot, whooping crane, and American burying beetle are the most notable species considered endangered in the state.

Subscribe our newsletter

Enter your email here to stay updated with the animal kingdom