South Dakota officials are reminding people not to mow in some medians and highway ditches until July 10 to protect the pheasant population after the matter was discussed by the governor's pheasant task force this month.
The state bird is threated with habitat loss and early mowing puts young broods at risk.
Tony Leif is the director of the Division of Wildlife director. He says roadside ditches provide nesting cover for the animals.
This time of year hens nest and hatch broods, which are vulnerable to mowing equipment because of limited mobility. The birds tend to hide when threatened, rather than take flight.
State research indicates hay mowing equipment is responsible for a significant number of pheasant deaths in June and July.