Wildlife & Habitat

Wildlife and Habitat
  • Mallard


    A migratory bird, mallards are the most common nesting waterfowl species in the St. Croix Wetland Management District. Typical habitat includes scattered small wetland basins near a large wetland that provides water for brood habitat. Adjacent grasslands provide nesting habitat where the hens hide their nest of 8-10 eggs from predators.

  • Eastern Meadowlark

    Eastern Meadowlark

    Eastern meadowlarks are an important indicator species of the health of our grasslands in the St. Croix Wetland Management District. These birds rely on large tracts of unbroken grassland, one of our top restoration goals for the district.


  • Northern Harrier

    Northern Harrier

    The northern harrier is a grassland dependent bird of prey that nests on the ground and eats small mammals and small birds. In the spring, their acrobatic mating flight is a common site on waterfowl production areas.

  • Native Prairie

    Native Prairie

    Historically much of St. Croix, Dunn and southern Polk Counties were covered with native prairie, oak savanna and wetlands. The district is working in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to restore native prairie to the landscape. Through a unique local ecotype seed nursery, the partners are growing five grass species and more than 25 forb species that are used to plant more than 400 acres of native prairie each year. Prairies provide food and cover for nesting waterfowl and a variety of grassland birds.

  • Oak Savanna

    Oak Savanna

     As the transition zone between prairie and the northern forests, oak savanna was once commonly found in the district. Today, only about 0.02 percent of the original pre-European oak savannas remain in the upper Midwest. This fire dependent community is characterized by scattered large white and burr oak trees with an understory of native grasses and forbs. The district is actively working with partners to restore this rare habitat.

  • Wetlands


     The St. Croix Wetland Management District is rich with wetlands, ranging from large basins and expansive sedge meadows to prairie pothole-type wetlands and small seasonal basins. This diversity of wetlands supports many species including migratory waterfowl, breeding mallards, blue winged teal, northern shovelers, wood ducks, hooded mergansers, bald eagles, and great blue herons.