The Silvies River Floodplain is an area of flood-irrigated meadows and haylands between Burns, Oregon and Malheur Lake. The Silvies River area was historically a shallow, slow moving river system of sloughs and swales interspersed with meadows. In wet years, the flooding banks of the Silvies River creates an extensive wetland system in the valley.
Supporte 78 Crane pairs in 2000 (7% of Oregon Population) (Ivey and Herziger 2000), nesting colonies of Great Egrets, White-faced Ibis, Double-crested Cormorants, Black-crowned Night Heron and Snowy Egret. Supports 200,000-300,000 spring staging Snow and Ross' Geese, up to 1,000,000 ducks, 5-10,000 swans, up to 12,000 Lesser Sandhill Cranes. Peaks of up to 300 spring staging Bald Eagles. Hundreds of nesting shorebirds and thousands of nesting ducks.
Threats include but are not limited to subdivision for rural residential development and associated disruption of the natural hydrology that is needed to sustain seasonal floodplain habitat values.