Historically, the Nodaway Valley Conservation Area IBA was lowland prairie, marsh, and bottomland forest (Nigh and Schroeder 2002). Today these habitats are still present in smaller patches, although much of the area has been converted to row-crop agriculture. All of the Nodaway Valley IBA is managed as the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Nodaway Valley Conservation Area (CA) (3,912 acres, 1,584 ha).
American Bittern, Least Bitterns, Pied-billed Grebe, and Common Moorhen have nested on the Nodaway Valley Conservation Area IBA, along with other marsh-nesting species. The restored wetlands also provide stopover and breeding habitat for large numbers of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, as well good numbers of wintering Bald Eagles. Area staff reported that in 2003, 40,000 waterfowl could be seen on the CA at one time.
MDC purchased Nodaway Valley CA from 1991-1993, and has since restored some wetland habitat, in cooperation with multiple partners, including DU, MPF, and many others. Much habitat restoration has been accomplished through funding from a North American Wetland Conservation Act grant. Approximately 60-70% of the area is managed for waterfowl food production.