The 6.08-million-acre Coteau Prairie
Ecosystem contains many unique features that makes it one of the most important areas for
migratory birds in North America. Wetland densities can exceed 150 basins per square mile.
The highest known nesting densities of
mallards have been recorded within the Coteau Prairie Ecosystem. It contains nesting
habitat of nearly 10% of the Great Plains population of federally threatened piping
plover. And the highest known densities of plains sharp-tailed grouse in North America are
evidence to the vast expanses of native prairie that still exist in this area.
Within the Coteau Prairie Ecosystem
lies the 28,000-acre Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, a birdwatcher's paradise that is
home to Baird's sparrows, LeConte's sparrows, and Sprague's pipits.