Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

MIDDLE FORK OF THE BIG MUDDY 

Canada Goosse on its nest in the Middle Fork of the Big Muddy RRA, photo by Mike Jeffords, INHS The marsh rice rat is semiaquatic, inhabiting marshes, swamps, and shores of lakes and ponds. Because of the loss of many natural wetlands, rice rats make use of available areas of standing water with emergent, herbaceous vegetation found in areas such as roadside ditches, farm ponds, and railroad rights-of-way in Illinois. Despite its extensive range in the U.S., the rice rat is uncommon in Illinois (it is a state-threatened species) and limited to the southern part of the state.

Map of Site
Land Cover Map of Site

SIZE: 114,908 acres; 180 square miles

LOCATION:Southern Illinois; Franklin, Hamilton, and Jefferson counties

The Middle Fork of the Big Muddy River RRA is a small, single watershed site. The significant natural features are the large tracts of forest located along the river.

LANDCOVER : Approximately half the landcover in this RRA is cropland. It ranks fifth in percentage of grassland, which accounts for 27% of the land area. Nineteen percent of the area is wooded. This RRA ranks eighth for percentage of bottomland woods and 15th for percentage of nonforested wetlands.

NATURAL AREAS : The Freeman Coal Company Forest is the only Natural Area.

BIOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT STREAMS : There are no BSS streams.

HERITAGE SITES : Two Heritage sites, a floodplain forest and one animal species, are located in the RRA.

STATE AND FEDERAL LAND : A 22-acre site, Ten Mile Creek Fish and Wildlife Area, is the only state or federal land.

NATURE PRESERVES : No Nature Preserves are located in the site.

NATURAL DIVISIONS : The Middle Fork of the Big Muddy River RRA is entirely within the Southern Till Plain Division.

SUMMARY OF SITE CHARACTERISTICS: SIZE, BIOLOGIC RESOURCES, AND PUBLIC LANDS

Total Acreage

    114,908

Natural Areas

    Acreage

388

    Number

1
Biologically Significant Stream Mileage 0
Natural Heritage Sites 2
State Land

    State Parks

0

    State Conservation Areas

0

    State Forests

0

    State Fish & Wildlife Areas

1

    Acreage

22

    Percentage of RRA

0.0
Federal Land

    Acreage

0

    Percentage of RRA

0.0

 


 

LANDCOVER

    Acres

    % of RRA

Upland forest 13,903.45 12.10
Bottomland forest 8,404.05 7.31
Wetland- nonforested 832.34 0.72
Grassland 31,218.95 27.17
Cropland 56,449.57 49.13
Urban/Built-up 3,164.97 2.75
Water 934.30 0.81
TOTAL 114,907.63 99.99

 


 

ILLINOIS NATURAL AREAS INVENTORY SITES

    Acres

Freeman Coal Company Forest 388

 


 

BIOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT STREAMS
None

 


 

NATURAL HERITAGE CATEGORIES
Communities

    Occurrences

    Types/Species

    Floodplain Forest

1 1
Threatened and Endangered Animals

    Mammal

1 1

 


 

STATE AND FEDERAL LAND

    Acres

State Parks 0
State Conservation Areas 0
State Forests 0
State Fish and Wildlife Areas

    Ten Mile Creek (Tva)

22
Federal Land 0

 


 

ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES
None

 


 

NATURAL DIVISIONS

    Acres in RRA

    % of RRA

    % of Division

Southern Till Plain 114,908 100.0 1.6



Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820
217-333-6880
cms@inhs.illinois.edu

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