The Emiquon Complex

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The Emiquon Complex

  • Country: 
    United States of America
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    5,729 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    40°21'N 90°03'W
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


The Emiquon Complex. 02/02/12; Illinois; 5,729 ha, 40°21'22"N 090°03'10"W. National Wildlife Refuges. The site lies within the former natural floodplain of the Illinois River, and as in other large-floodplain river systems, the dynamic relationship between the river and its floodplain creates a diversity of habitats including bottomland lakes, side channels, sloughs, marsh, bottomland hardwood forests, and wet, mesic and dry prairies. These in turn support correspondingly abundant and diverse animal populations, both terrestrial and aquatic. The site and its natural diversity of both resident and migratory animal species contribute to a corridor that provides essential habitats for long-distance longitudinal migrants such as Neotropical song birds, North American waterfowl, and some fishes such as paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) and American eel (Anguilla rostrata), and it also provides habitat and corridors for lateral migrants, especially amphibians and reptiles. In addition to providing habitat for animals, the complex contributes to important ecological processes including processing and cycling of nutrients, sediments, and energy; improving water quality; sequestering carbon; and normalizing hydrology. It also provides opportunities for people for education, recreation, and compatible economic development. Threats include invasive species, high sedimentation rates, pollution, and altered hydrology in the areas of the complex that are not protected by levees. Ramsar Site no. 2031. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Wildlife Refuge
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

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