The Illinois River valley (IRV) 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, the restoration of floodplain wetlands at the Emiquon Preserve and Emiquon NWR changed the distribution of waterbirds. Emiquon/Spoon River Bottoms has taken over the top spot for migratory waterbirds and since 2007 has ranked 1.9 of 25 refuges in the IRV. The 2020 drought, management actions,and hunting pressure reduced duck abundance at Emiquon/Spoon River Bottoms during fall 2020. Waterfowl food resources were excellent during fall 2020, but the lack of water made those food resources unavailable to migratory waterfowl. To the contrary, spring migration habitat looks promising.
|Title of host publication
|15th Annual Emiquon Science Symposium
|Published - 2021