Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1992 primarily for the preservation and restoration of bottomland hardwood forest. The Refuge is named after the Marais des Cygnes River which runs through the middle of the refuge and is the dominant natural feature of the region. The name, Marais des Cygnes, comes from the French language and means Marsh of the Swans. The 7500 acres of the Refuge encompass a variety of habitats from bottomland hardwood forests dominated by oaks and hickory to scattered prairie areas. The area along the Marais des Cygnes River floods regularly, recharging the nutrients in the soil and providing habitat for a variety of wildlife from otters to wood ducks. About 2500 acres of the Refuge is closed to visitation and provides a haven for wildlife including the many migratory birds that use the forests for food and shelter. During the summer, the woods are alive with the sounds of birds from the lilting song of the prothonotary warbler to the drumming of the red-headed woodpecker and the loud noises of blue jays.
The Refuge was established in 1992 to protect bottomland hardwood habitats along the Marais des Cygnes River in Linn County (Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge Decision Document). Marais des Cygnes Basin, including threatened and endangered species, will be preserved in coordination with partners. Additionally, the Refuge will serve as an area for wildlife-dependent environmental education, interpretation, and wildlife compatible recreational day use.
Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1992 for the protection and restoration of bottomland hardwood forest. The Refuge shares a border with the Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area established in 1951 primarily for the management of waterfowl. Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area is managed by Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Together the two agencies manage almost 15,000 acres of land along the Marais des Cygnes River and provide for a variety of habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for the public.
Other Facilities in this Complex
Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Kansas Refuges Complex and includes Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge as well as the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita.
The Great Plains Nature Center
The Great Plains Nature Center is a cooperative project between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Kansas Wildlife & Parks, City of Wichita, and the Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center. These Partners share a common goal of providing opportunities for the public to investigate, understand and develop an appreciation for wildlife and the environment, while promoting sound stewardship of natural resources.