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Illinois Wildlife Refuges



Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge- The Refuge is an important link in the chain of resting, feeding and wintering areas for waterfowl and other migratory birds in the Mississippi Flyway.
Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge- The refuge is adjacent to the Mississippi River and although it is protected by a levee, the area provides flood storage in periods of high water. Habitats on these areas include moist soil units, semi and permanent marshes, bottomland hardwood forests and native grasslands.
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge- Major habitat types are hardwood forest, agricultural land, wildlife/livestock grazing units, open brushland, wetlands and lakes. A large portion of the Refuge is designated a wildlife sanctuary and remains closed to general public use.
Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge- The refuge includes 1000 year old cypress/tupelo trees, Over 182 species of birds, 47 species of mammals, and 54 species of amphibians and reptiles.
Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge- Emiquon NWR is being acquired to protect, restore, and manage migratory bird, fish and resident wildlife habitat in the Illinois River Valley, while providing for increased public recreation and educational opportunities.
Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge- The refuge is located within the Mississippi Flyway and provides waterfowl and other migratory birds with food, water and protection during the spring and fall migrations.
Meredosia National Wildlife Refuge- When acquisition is complete, the refuge will include a combination of high quality backwater lake, bottomland forest, upland forest, prairie, seasonal wetland and permanent marsh habitat for migratory birds, fish and resident wildlife.

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General Information

Description - The mission of these refuges and the Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Attractions - The acreage for the NWRS as of 9/30/07 was 96,420,884 acres. The system encompasses 548 national wildlife refuges, 37 Wetland Management Districts (which include Waterfowl Production Areas in 205 counties), and 49 Coordination Areas which are managed by the states.

Recreation - Wildlife viewing is the pirmary activity on any National Wildlife Refuge, however many of the refuges offer other activities such as hunting, fishing, educational activitis and all offer opportunities for photography.

Climate - Illinois experiences four distinct seasons with varying weather throughout the year. Winter can be very cold. The highest humidity of the year occurs during this season averaging 70 to 75 percent. Average low temperatures in January dip to 20 degrees F with highs near 35 degrees F. Spring temperatures are mild with humidity below 70 percent. Temperatures during this season average between 32 and 50 degrees F. Summer is usually hot and humid in this Midwest state. Low temperatures remain in the low sixties with high temperatures near 90 degrees F. The highest rainfall of the year occurs during the summer months. Fall is an excellent time to visit the state with low humidity and rainfall and moderate temperatures.

Location -

The location of each refuge is described, driving instructions are given, and a map is provided showing the location of each refuge on the wildernet page describing the refuge.


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Additional Information:
Illinois - Illinois is the sixth most populated state in the nation with Chicago being its largest city. State Parks dot the landscape of prairies, glacial lakes, farmland and forests.

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