U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge

great blue heron walking in water
24279 State Highway 51
Puxico, MO   63960
E-mail: mingo@fws.gov
Phone Number: 573-222-3589
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A great blue heron hunts for food in one of the refuge's marshes.
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Mingo National Wildlife Refuge

Located in the upper end of the lower Mississippi River valley, Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, at 21,592 acres, is the largest remnant of bottomland hardwoods remaining out of an original 2 1/2 million acres in the Missouri bootheel. A major migration and wintering area for migratory waterfowl, populations of 125,000 mallards and 75,000 Canada geese have been recorded. Bald eagles have been successively nesting on the refuge since 1985.

The refuge contains approximately 15,000 acres of bottomland hardwoods, 1,000 acres of upland hardwoods, 1,275 acres of cropland and moist soil units (see Management Activities), 700 acres of grasslands, and 5,000 acres of marsh and water. There are seven natural areas on the refuge and over 140 identified archaeological sites. In 1976, 7,730 acres were designated as a wilderness area.

Getting There . . .
Located approximately 150 miles south of St. Louis, the refuge is twenty five miles northeast of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The Visitor Center is located 1.0 mile north of Puxico on Highway 51.

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Wildlife and Habitat

With a broad diversity of wildlife and bottomland hardwood forest, Mingo National Wildlife Refuge provides year-round habitat to numerous birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

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The present-day refuge has a rich biological history of abundant wildlife resources that once attracted Native American groups, such as the Osage and Shawnee Indians, to the remnant Mississippi River channel.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Management focuses on preserving the bottomland hardwood ecosystem and maintaining its productivity. Two major marsh areas, Rockhouse and Monopoly marshes, comprise about 4,700 acres and are managed as "moist soil units," drawn down on an alternating basis to promote plant growth. When re-flooded, they provide food for migrating and wintering waterfowl.

An additional 1,200 acres are maintained as cropland or moist soil units which can be seasonally flooded for migrating waterfowl. About 700 acres of grassland are maintained as warm and cool season grasses to provide browse for geese and deer. The 7,730-acre Wilderness Area within the refuge is managed to maintain its integrity by regulating public use and protect in air and water resources.

The University of Missouri-Gaylord Lab, located adjacent to the refuge, directs or assists with numerous wildlife studies and surveys, including banding and disease monitoring work. The 7,000-acre Duck Creek Wildlife Management Conservation Area, managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, has a common boundary with the refuge and provides many hunting and fishing opportunities.