About the Complex

spiny softshell

Chautauqua, Emiquon and Meredosia National Wildlife Refuges are all part of the Illinois River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Complex. A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central office location. 

Refuges are grouped into a complex structure because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed, and have a related purpose and management needs.  Typically, a project leader or complex manager oversees the general management of all refuges within the complex and refuge managers are responsible for operations at specific refuges. For the Illinois River Complex, the project leader and supporting staff, including biologist, maintenance professional, and visitor services, are all located at Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge headquarters.