Kibbe Station is the only station
of its size located on the navigable portion of the upper Mississippi
River System. The management area includes 5.2 miles of river shoreline
with easy access to sandbars, islands, sloughs, navigation pools
and forested floodplains. Additionally, the Field Station is located
on Pool 20 just downstream of Lock and Dam 19, the oldest dam on
the Mississippi River and one of the most ecologically significant
structures on the Upper Mississippi River.
uplands are comprised of oak dominated forests, sand hills with
xeric sand prairie, limestone outcroppings/bluffs and hill prairies.
Rocky intermittent streams are found in the valleys and glens. The
site represents the largest piece of continuous habitat in the area.
The Sand Hills Nature Preserve, a restored oak savanna and tracts
of restored tallgrass prairie are also being actively managed using
prescribed fire and other techniques to promote diversity and to
control invasive species.
Field Station is a major wintering site for bald eagles, one of
the largest concentrations in North America. The eagles' night roost
is included in Cedar Glen Natural Area. Cedar Glen Natural Area
and the rest of the lands managed via Kibbe Station operations are
collectively called the Kibbe Macro site (KM). Macro sites are large
areas recognized by IDNR as
containing large tract of ecologically significant native terrestrial
and/or aquatic resources.
than 100 plant families and 720 vascular plant species and 100 non-vascular
plant species have been documented in the Macro site. Nearly
225 families of insects along with 25 species of amphibians, 25
breeding bird species and 33 mammal species occur at the site. White-tailed
deer, wild turkey and beaver are abundant in the area. River otters
are also returning to the area.
adjacent section of the Mississippi River is a major flyway for
migrating waterfowl and shorebirds with diving ducks, ospreys and
pelicans roosting in the fall. Pileated woodpeckers nest and
feed in the woodlands along the bluffs. The adjacent
section of river contains the most diverse mussel sanctuary in the
state. Two state-listed endangered species have been
found in the sanctuary. The Station and the surrounding area
offer many opportunities for students, faculty, and the public to
take part in conservation, education and research projects.
A map of the natural habitat types
will be coming soon.