The South Dakota Badlands is a rugged terrain of oddly shaped canyons, ridges, and pits located in the southwestern corner of the state. It covers a 500squaremile area and is United States largest protected mixedgrass prairie and one of the most endangered habitats in the world. The South Dakota Badlands can trace its history back at least 500yrs ago. It has seen all sorts of climates, leading to the dramatic erosion and development of its unique landscapes. This erosion caused the formation of a particular type of topography unique to the Badlandsan alpinelike terrain with steep slopes and deep fissures created by the intense erosion caused by wind, cold, and rain. The South Dakota Badlands is home to many species of wildlife, including pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, wild horses, coyotes, mountain lions, prairie dogs, elk, badgers, and bison. The area is also home to many plant species, including cacti, yucca plants, hollyhocks, red larkspurs, and bluebells.