Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Sumner

#51 of 54 in Wildlife in Missouri
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a 10,795-acre (43.69 km2) National Wildlife Refuge established in 1937 and located in Chariton County, Missouri, 2 miles (3.2 km) south of the town of Sumner. It is located near the confluence of the Grand and Missouri Rivers.

Following the purchase of the land, the Civilian Conservation Corps began work on the refuge creating wetlands, constructing roads and buildings, and initiating the refuge farming program.

The primary purpose of the refuge is to provide nesting, resting, and feeding areas for waterfowl, primarily ducks. Two-hundred and forty-one avian species have been observed residing on or passing through the refuge; another fourteen birds, listed under accidentals on the bird list, have been reported but are not normally expected to be present. An important secondary purpose was to preserve a remnant flock of prairie chickens. However, adequate grassland habitat to maintain a viable population of these birds was not available.

Since establishment of the refuge, the primary emphasis on waterfowl species has been expanded to include the Eastern Prairie Population of Canada geese. Canada geese were first observed using the refuge in the early 1940s, and numbers increased gradually to peak populations over 200,000 birds annually. Although these populations have steadily declined, Swan Lake is still considered a primary wintering area for Canada geese.

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Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge reviews

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8 reviews
  • We took a detour of 12 miles in the off chance we might see one but we were delighted to see quite a numer of the in the late afternoon. You could not get close so better bring binoculars and a...  more »
  • There are thousands upon thousands of both Canadian and White Geese that migrate here, along with those who have become native. Pelicans, ducks and other water fowl and creatures can be easily seen.....  more »
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