National Wildlife Refuge
|Highway 159 South
Mound City, MO 64470
Phone Number: 660-442-3187
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Squaw Creek Refuge boasts large concentrations of bald eagles in the winter months.|
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located in northwestern Missouri within the historic Missouri River floodplain. The 7,350-acre refuge was established in 1935 as a resting, feeding, and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Many of the original facilities were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration in the late 1930s.
The principal refuge habitats are seasonal and semipermanent wetlands, native warm and cool season grasslands, woodlands, and croplands. The refuge includes loess bluff hills, unusual geologic formations caused by wind-deposited soil, where remnants of the once-vast native prairie still exist.
Squaw Creek is best known for its large concentrations of snow geese, other waterfowl, and bald eagles. The refuge is a major stop-over for waterfowl, with more than one-half million birds in the fall and lesser, but still spectacular, numbers in the spring. The refuge is within the Mississippi Flyway.
Getting There . . .
The refuge is located five miles south of Mound City, MO, and 30 miles north of St. Joseph, MO, just off of Interstate 29. Take exit 79, and drive 3 miles west on highway 159.
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Refuge staff at Squaw Creek manage habitat to benefit wildlife. Water levels in the refuge's wetlands are manipulated to provide optimal depths and vegetation for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds in the spring and fall and nesting marsh and water birds in the summer.
A small portion of the refuge is planted in corn, soybeans, and winter wheat by local farmers. Some of the crops are left in the field to provide food for waterfowl, deer, and upland birds.
The refuge's grasslands are managed using controlled burning, which deters woody vegetation and stimulates the growth of native species. Non-native vegetation, such as reed canarygrass and tall fescue, are removed through haying and chemical treatment and replaced with native grasses and wildflowers.
The Squaw Creek Wetland Management District is managed by the refuge and contains 1,570 acres of conservation easements and 910 acres of Service-owned lands in 21 counties of Northwest Missouri. The majority of these lands protect important streamside habitat. The Service protects the streamside habitat through fencing; plants trees; and seeds the former croplands to native grasses and wildflowers.