Current understanding of the distributions of amphibians and reptiles in South Dakota is limited compared to that of many other vertebrate groups and was highlighted in a recent state report. Continuing increases in human population, conversion of grasslands to agriculture, and habitat degradation all likely have strong negative impacts South Dakota’s amphibian and reptile species; however, their effects on species declines are difficult to track because of limited historic and modern sampling and the lack of georeferenced occurrence records. These data often serves as baseline occurrence data to help guide current survey or monitoring efforts, and as such, knowledge of both historic and current occurrence records are essential in order to understand present-day species distributions and declines.

This project was started by and is managed by Drew Davis, a PhD Candidate at the University of South Dakota. Records of over 11,900 specimens (as of September 2017) have been assembled to create a database of all known amphibian and reptile voucher specimens from South Dakota. These records are primarily from voucher specimens deposited at natural history collections from the United States and Canada but the database also includes photographic vouchers from citizen science programs such as HerpMapper and iNaturalist. This website will continue to be updated with new records as they are collected.

Map of South Dakota counties.

Map of South Dakota showing amphibian and reptile voucher specimens collected pre-2000 (black) and post-2000 (blue). Map created June 2016.

Specimen Records

Collection Code Collection Name # of specimens
AMNH American Museum of Natural History 101
ANSP Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel Univ. 39
ASNHC Angelo State Natural History Collections 11
AUM Auburn Univ. Museum of Natural History 1
CAS California Academy of Sciences 19
CHAS Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago Acad. of Science 223
CM Carnegie Museum of Natural History 49
CRCM Charles R. Conner Museum, Washington State Univ. 6
CUMV Cornell Univ. Museum of Vertebrates 27
CUSC Campbell Museum of Natural History, Clemson Univ. 46
DRD Drew R. Davis Field Series 2270
FHSM Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hayes State Univ. 176
FLMNH Florida Museum of Natural History, Univ. of Florida 10
FMNH Field Museum of Natural History 100
HERP H.E.R.P. (Herpetological Education & Research Project) 9
HM HerpMapper 271
iNat iNaturalist 140
INHS Illinois Natural History Survey 31
ISU Iowa State University 5
JFBM James Ford Bell Museum, Univ. of Minnesota 258
KU Biodiversity Institute, Univ. of Kansas 582
LACM Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 110
LSUMZ Louisiana Museum of Natural History, Louisiana State Univ. 18
MCZ Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard Univ. 69
MPM Milwaukee Public Museum 2
MSB Museum of Southwest Biology, Unvi. of New Mexico 112
MSUM Michigan State Univ. Museum 4
MVZ Museum of Vertebrate Zoology 57
NCSM North Carolina State Museum 1
NPS National Park Service 1
OMNH Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 70
PN Project Noah 14
PSM James R. Slater Museum of Natural History, Univ. of Puget Sound 18
ROM Royal Ontario Museum 4
SDNHM San Diego Natural History Museum 1197
SDSM Museum of Geology, South Dakota School of Mines 8
SMBU Mayborn Museum Complex, Strecker Museum, Baylor Univ. 10
TCWC Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections, Texas A&M Univ. 16
TNHC Biodiversity Collections, Univ. of Texas at Austin 228
UCM Museum of Natural History, Univ. of Colorado 108
UIMNH Univ. of Illinois Museum of Natural History 85
UMM Univ. of Minnesota, Morris 3
UMMZ Museum of Zoology, Univ. of Michigan 203
UNSM University of Nebraska State Museum 4770
USNM Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History 234
UTA Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center, Univ. of Texas at Arlington 17
UTEP Centennial Museum and Gardens, Univ. of Texas at El Paso 8
UWSP Museum of Natural History, Univ. Wisconsin-Stevens Point 53
UWZM Univ. Wisconsin Zoological Museum 12
VMUNK Univ. of Nebraska at Kearney Vertebrate Museum 1
YPM Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale Univ. 4