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Dr. Joshua Stafford

Banding a drake redhead near Fergus Falls, Minnesota.  Summer 2013.


  • Ph D Mississippi State University 2004
  • MS South Dakota State University 2000
  • BS Oregon State University 1997
  • Portland Community College 1994


I received a B.S. in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University (1997), and M.S. in Wildlife Science from South Dakota State University (2000), and a Ph.D. in Forest Resources (Wildlife) from Mississippi State University (2004). I served as the Director of the Illinois Natural History Survey's Forbes Biological Station from 2004-2011.

Research Interests

Ecology and Management of Waterfowl and Wetlands, Foraging Ecology, Habitat and Food Selection, and Biometrics.

Teaching Interests

I have taught a special topics course on the Jonathan Weiner book The Beak of the Finch, and am slated to teach Wildlife Research Design (Spring 2013) and Behavioral Ecology (Spring 2014); both are graduate courses.

Professional Society Service

  • The Wildlife Society - President, South Dakota Chapter (February 2017 - February 2018)
  • Society of Wetland Scientists - Chair-Elect, Wildlife Section (July 2013 - June 2014)

Research Publications

  • Hagy, H.M, J.D. Stafford, R.V. Smith, A.P. Yetter, C.S. Hine, M.M. Horath, and C. Whelan. 2017. Opportunity costs influence food selection and giving-up density of dabbling ducks. Journal of Avian Biology 48:804–814. DOI: 10.1111/jav.01275.
  • Pfrimmer, J., Gigliotti, L., Stafford, J., Schumann, D., & Bertrand, K. (2017). Motivations for enrollment into the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in the James River Basin of South Dakota. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 22(4):382-389. Abstract | 
  • Janke, A.K., M.J. Anteau, and J.D. Stafford. 2017. Long-term spatial heterogeneity in mallard distribution in their core North American breeding range. Wildlife Society Bulletin 41:116–124. DOI: 10.1002/wsb.747.
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Current Projects

Completed Projects


  • Wildlife Research Design (2017)
  • Wildlife Research Design (2015)
  • Behavioral Ecology (2014)
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Technical Publications

  • Hine, C. S., R. V. Smith, A. P. Yetter, M. M. Horath, J. D. Stafford, and H. M. Hagy. 2012. Waterbird and wetland monitoring at The Emiquon Preserve. 2011 Annual Report. The Nature Conservancy. INHS Technical Report 2012 (15). May. 42 pp.
  • Smith, R. V., J. D. Stafford, A. P. Yetter, C. J. Wehlan, C. S. Hine, and M. M. Horath. 2011. Foraging thresholds of spring migrating dabbling ducks in Illinois. INHS Technical Report 2011 (37). November. 55 pp.
  • Yetter, A. P., M. M. Horath, C. S. Hine, R. V. Smith, and J. D. Stafford. 2011. Illinois Waterfowl Surveys and Investigations. INHS Technical Report 2011 (41). November. 74 pp.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 5

Phd Students: 2

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 3

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 16

Scientific Publications: 45

Presentations: 112


Contact Information

Tel: (605) 688 - 5759

Current Students

South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks
  2. South Dakota State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute