Recent work conducted on prairie dog towns in western North Dakota indicates that data for mammal occurrence and distributions are critically lacking. The status of 22 western North Dakota mammal species is presently unknown or incomplete. A search of museum records (MANiS) demonstrates that, among these 22 species, most recent voucher specimens were collected from North Dakota no later than 1970. Nine of 22 species have not been collected in North Dakota since 1950 and ten of the species are represented by three or fewer specimens. We describe these mammals as ‘fringe’ mammals; mammals which are known or suspected to occur in North Dakota, but for which little information or recent records are available. Surveys of small mammals, bats and carnivores will provide current data which will be used to update and clarify the status of a number of western North Dakota ‘fringe’ mammals.