The Illinois River valley has historically been important to migrating, and more recently, wintering waterfowl. Prior to 2007, Chautauqua NWR was the most important migratory waterfowl refuge in the IRV; however, following restoration of the Emiquon Preserve and Emiquon NWR, a new player came to be. Emiquon/Spoon River Bottoms has taken over the top spot for migratory waterbirds and since 2007 has ranked 1.5 of 24 refuges in the IRV. Emiquon on average hosts nearly 20% to the total duck use-days during fall migration and nearly 70% of the American coot numbers from 2007–2018. When managed cooperatively, Emiquon Preserve, Emiquon NWR, and Chautauqua NWR provide ~5,000 ha of diverse emergent marsh that give us a glimpse of what the historic Illinois Valley was like prior to prior to European settlement.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference 2020|
|State||Published - 2020|