The Dakota skipper is a small butterfly that lives in high-quality mixed and tallgrass prairie (refer to guidance document for further information). This species was listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on October 23, 2014. Disturbing sites with native prairie that contains Dakota skippers would be a violation of the ESA and may cause local extinction of the species. Therefore, material source locations with potential Dakota Skipper habitat (determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) must be evaluated before the site can be disturbed or issued a Certificate of Approval (COA).
A qualified biologist must evaluate the location for suitable habitat (Type A or Type B) per the guidelines set-forth by the USFWS Dakota Skipper Habitat Parameters (see link below). A short letter report explaining survey results accompanied with map(s) of site as well as photos and Dakota Skipper Habitat Evaluation data sheets must be provided from the qualified biologist to the NDDOT before a COA will be considered. If there are multiple habitat types found on a material source site, more than one data sheet should be used.
A qualified biologist meets one or more of the following minimum requirements and will provide supporting documentation:
***In the case of the Dakota skipper, it would be recommended to have a qualified biologist that is skilled in botany i.e. plant identification.***