• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

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  • Trail Closure Information

    The Highland Creek Trail is closed. Backcountry Zones 1 and 2 are closed to all off-trail travel and use. The Sanctuary and Centennial Trails remain open to through traffic.

  • Temporary Road Closure Information

    Oct. 18 & 19: NPS 5 and 6 are closed for the entire weekend. Monday, Oct. 20, through Wednesday, Oct. 22, NPS 5 will be closed from Highway 87 to NPS 6. Highway 87 will be closed from Road 342 (Beaver Creek Road) north to the park boundary.

Wildlife Management - Trials and Tribulations of the Pronghorn

Pronghorn on the Prairie

Pronghorn on the Prairie

NPS Photo

Protecting the "Peculiar Game Animal"

The Boone and Crockett Club hoped that the pronghorn at the Game Preserve could: be used to furnish stock for other national game preserves, and insure the perpetuation of this most interesting and peculiar American game animal. In 1918, with nine additional pronghorn sent to the preserve the total population was 23.

 
Pronghorn Antelope

Pronghorn Antelope

NPS Photo

Life and Death Challenges

Even with additional animals, Chambers had trouble keeping the pronghorn alive. In a note to Washington, he stated: The antelope are not doing well.. . have plenty of feed, and am doing everything that I can ...

 
Pronghorn Antelope Pair

Pronghorn Antelope Pair

NPS Photo

By 1924, the population was down to 6 animals. A memo from Washington advised that all efforts should be made to protect the remaining antelope and ridding the preserve of predatory animals. Chambers took this advise seriously: before we give up the idea of raising antelope we should do everything that we can to combat the predatory animal situation.
 
Pronghorn Antelope on the Prairie

Pronghorn Antelope on the Prairie

NPS Photo

The Struggle Continues

The pronghorn population has fluctuated dramatically throughout the park’s history. In 1964, with more than 300 pronghorn in the park, seventy-five were herded in to Custer State Park. In 1998, fifteen pronghorn left the park during a snow storm, bringing their number to fewer than 30. Research continues today on these “curious little animals” in an attempt to ensure their existence within Wind Cave National Park.

Click here for more information about pronghorn and its behavior.

 

Did You Know?

American bison on the Wind Cave National Park prairie

The American bison is the largest terrestrial mammal in North America. Male bison can weigh a ton and can run 35 miles per hour. Do not approach bison. They weigh more and can outrun you. More...