Cache_River_National_Wildlife_Refuge

Cache River National Wildlife Refuge

The Cache River National Wildlife Refuge is a 55,000 acre (223 km²) wildlife refuge in the state of Arkansas managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Cache River National Wildlife Refuge runs along the flood-plain of the Cache River for 70 miles (100 km) from the Cache River's mouth at Clarendon, Arkansas to the town of Grubbs, Arkansas. The refuge encompasses land in the Arkansas counties of Jackson, Woodruff, Prairie, and Monroe.

The refuge is one of the Ramsar list of wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention signed in 1971. It is also the most important wintering area for ducks and the largest remaining tract of contiguous bottomland hardwood forest on the North American continent.

The refuge includes 33,000 acres (134 km²) of bottomland forest and sloughs. It also includes several oxbow lakes, as well as 4,300 acres (17 km²) of croplands and 7,500 acres (30 km²) of reforested areas.

The refuge is home to over 50 species of mammals including deer, raccoon, bobcat, and river otter. It also is home for nearly 240 species of birds including ducks, geese, wading birds, and other assorted migratory birds. It is believed to be one of the few remaining habitats of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, once thought to be extinct. The swampy bottomlands are also home to 48 species of reptiles and amphibians.

Since the establishment of the refuge in 1986 private land prices adjacent to the refuge have more than doubled. The refuge continues to grow as land is acquired on a "willing seller" basis over time.

Other protected areas for wildlife co-exist with the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge along the Cache and White Rivers including the Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge and the Hurricane Lake State Wildlife Management Area.

On April 29, 2005, officials announced that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, believed extinct for 60 years, has been sighted in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge.

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