Camas NWR runs along Camas Creek. Wetlands consist of cattails, and bulrush marshland with seasonally flooded wetlands. The water comes from two sources: Camas Creek and ground water pumping. Other habitats include Baltic rush, sagebrush steppe, and native bunch grasses. Riparian willows and cottonwoods attract nesting and migrating passerines. All native cervids as well as pronghorn antelope occur on the refuge. Camas NWR is near Mud Lake and Market Lake Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

Ornithological Summary

Camas NWR supports diverse avifauna because of diverse habitats. The refuge is primarily a waterfowl and waterbird refuge, but also supports sagebrush steppe fauna, and diverse nesting and passerine fauna.

Numerous nesting waterfowl (Redhead, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Cinnamon Teal, Lesser Scaup, Canada Goose, and others), waterbirds (Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, American White Pelican, American Bittern, Sora, American Coot, Sandhill Crane,), shorebirds (Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Willet, Long-billed Curlew, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Phalarope) and at least one pair of Trumpeter Swans. A pair of Peregrine Falcons use the hack tower annually. The area is a fall staging area for Sandhill Cranes, and a wintering area for Bald Eagles.

Migrating shorebirds (other than breeders): Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper

Colonies: Eared Grebe, Western and Clark?s Grebe (10-15 nests), Great Blue Heron (20-25 nests), Black-crowned Night Heron (15-25 nests), Snowy Egret, Great Egret (10 nests), Cattle Egret (15 nests), White-faced Ibis (20-30 nests), Franklin's Gull, Black Tern (5-10 nests).

Conservation Issues

Introduced noxious weeds, especially Russian knapweed, are serious problems, and are being treated with chemical and biological weed control measures. Upstream channelization has increased sediment flow onto the refuge and increased ground water pumping in agricultural lands upslope from the refuge have lowered the water table, drying up some marsh units. If continued, this could have drastic effects. To combat this problem, legal proceedings and cooperative agreements have been undertaken to repair banks damaged by channelization and to reduce, stop, or mitigate upslope ground water pumping. Water level manipulation and pumping have been implemented to help alleviate low water level problems on the refuge.

Habitat

Cattail and hardstem bulrush marsh is the main habitat. Baltic rush wetlands are also found on site. There is sagebrush steppe and dry sand bunch grass environment on the uplands. Grain and hay are also produced. Dense willow and cottonwoods occur along the riparian zones. Marsh units are maintained with canals and dikes. Water comes from Camas Creek and pumping.

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