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Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary acreage increased

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 12:33 p.m. CST

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Audubon Society announced it increased the protected acreage of its Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary with a 30-acre addition.

Purchased by the Society in 2012, Amboy Marsh is a rare and fragile Northern Illinois ecosystem. Located in southeastern Lee County, Amboy Marsh is now a 302-acre wetland complex interspersed with black oak sand savannas, sedge meadows and dry sand prairie. According to Illinois Natural Area Inventory data, Amboy Marsh has unique natural features that attract and host one of Illinois’ highest populations of nesting state-endangered Blanding’s turtles.

Blanding’s turtles are medium-sized, semi-aquatic, freshwater turtles that inhabit wetlands in parts of the upper Midwest, New York, New England and southern Canada. With comparable sea turtle and tortoise life history characteristics, they can live 70 years. Blanding’s turtles reach sexual maturity at more than 20 years of age and have low reproductive potential.

Acquisition, restoration and long-term stewardship grants were initially provided by Grand Victoria Foundation and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. This recent purchase was funded through the Illinois Audubon Society’s land acquisition fund.

Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary opened to the public on Oct. 13, 2013, and features a 2.5 mile marked trail. The trail is easy to walk, and visitors will experience various habitats that offer a diversity of plant and wildlife species. The Sanctuary is located at 1701 Mormon Road in Amboy and is open dawn to dusk. Parking is available at the entrance to the Sanctuary.

The mission of the Illinois Audubon Society is to promote the perpetuation and appreciation of native plants and animals and the habitats that support them. The Illinois Audubon Society is an independent, member supported, not-for-profit, statewide organization. Founded in 1897, the Society is Illinois’ oldest private conservation organization with over 2,300 members, 21 chapters and 16 affiliate groups. The Illinois Audubon Society has protected over 3,300 acres by investing more than $6.6 million to protect land and water throughout Illinois.

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