Camp Nine is a working farm located in Desha County, AR, approximately 6 miles from Arkansas City. The majority of the acreage is used for row-crop production (soybeans, rice, milo, wheat, cotton). Other land uses include aquaculture, Conservation Reserve Program, fallow areas, irrigation reservoirs, and bottomland hardwoods. Camp Nine Reservoir is used for row-crop irrigation. Proximity to the Mississippi River and land-use practices make this area especially attractive to birds. As of July 2010, 285 species have been seen at Camp Nine. Rarities include Gull-billed Tern, Sprague's Pipit, Cape May Warbler, Vermilion Flycatcher, Neotropic Cormorant, Magnificent Frigatebird, Whimbrel, Black Rail, Golden Eagle, Bewick's Wren, Tundra Swan, Black Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Red-necked Phalarope, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Nelson's Sparrow, Yellow Rail, Ruddy Turnstone, and Ruff.

Ornithological Summary

This site is one of the most diverse and unique bird areas in the state. Camp Nine hosts the largest state populations of several species, and some species found here annually are extremely rare anywhere else in the state at any time. The diversity of birds (285 species) found at this site is impressive, but the sheer numbers of birds are even more astounding.

Conservation Issues

The Camp Nine Reservoir's banks have eroded to the point that the site will barely hold enough water to use. The banks need to be repaired to ensure that the emergent habitat is not lost. If the banks erode much more, this site will have to be drained for a long period of time, and this special habitat could be lost forever.


Camp Nine is a private working farm entirely owned by the Baxter family.


Dominant agriculture use is production of soybeans, rice, wheat, milo, and cotton. Aquaculture acreage is used for production of catfish. Camp Nine Reservoir is used for irrigation purposes, but this area supports a diverse wetland plant community. Common aquatic vegetation includes cattails, lotus, sedges, rushes, Lemna spp., primrose willow, and several smartweed species. Common tree species include green ash, sugarberry, willow oak, black willow, water oak, box elder, cedar elm, persimmon, honey locust, and indigo bush.

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