A wildlife action plan assesses the wildlife and habitat health, identifies any problems the wildlife and habitat face and describes the actions needed to rectify the problems and conserve the wildlife and habitat in question. Congress has identified eight elements that each wildlife action plan is required to have, which will better aid in identifying the plans of action to take and why. These eight elements are: Information on the Distribution and Abundance of Species of Wildlife; Descriptions of Extent and Conditions of Habitats and Community Types; Descriptions of Problems
and Priority Research and Survey Efforts; Descriptions of Conservation Actions; Proposed Plans for Monitoring Species Identified and Their Habitats; Description of Procedures to Review the Plan; Plans for Coordinating the Development, Implementation, Review and Revision of the Plan with Federal, State, Local Agencies and Indian Tribes; and Broad Public Participation. South Dakota had 90 aquatic and terrestrial wildlife species classified
as wildlife species of greatest conservation need (GCN). Of these 90 GCN, 28 are birds, 20 are fish, 10 are reptiles, 10 are mammals, 9 are insects, 4 are snails and 2 are amphibians. Problems or threats to the GCN species populations in South Dakota are commercial and industrial development, landfill construction or operation, dams, road construction, urban development, water diversion, municipal and industrial point source, commercial harvest, conversion of riparian forests, excessive non-commercial harvest or collection, channel maintenance and confined animal operations.