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Kansas Wetlands Education Center
OwlA Birding Paradise
The Kansas Wetlands Education Center is ideally located at the eastern edge of the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and The Nature Conservancy Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve. The Cheyenne Bottoms and nearby Quivira National Wildlife Refuge form a wetlands complex of global importance to migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. As such, the center is situated to interpret the richly unique natural resources of the region.
• Cheyenne Bottoms falls square in the midst of the Central Flyway – equivalent to a sky interstate for migrating birds, from tiny sandpipers to majestic whooping cranes.

Nature tourist profile
• Some 129 million people take
time to stop and observe the natural scenery around them, while 71.2 million people view birds (NSRE 2000).
• 47 percent of the more than
2 million residents of Kansas take part in wildlife-related recreation.

Bird Festival

Cheyenne Bottoms has earned prestigious titles:

  • Wetland of International Importance - one of only 22 U.S. sites designated by the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands.
  • Globally Important Bird Area - named by the American Bird Conservancy.
  • Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve - designated by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network
The Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area

Of the twelve large marshes historically present in Kansas, only three remain: Cheyenne Bottoms, Quivira, and Jamestown. With more than 41,000 acres in the Cheyenne Bottoms Basin and more than 28,000 acres managed by Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the Nature Conservancy, Cheyenne Bottoms is the largest wetland in the interior of the United States.

Of the 417 species of birds documented in Kansas, a minimum of 340 have been observed at the Bottoms. The International Shorebird Survey estimates that approximately 45% of North America's shorebird population stops at Cheyenne Bottoms when migrating north in the spring. The Bottoms attract an estimated 90% of the White-rumped, Baird's, and Stilt Sandpipers; Long-billed Dowitchers; and Wilson's Phalaropes. Waterfowl numbers can approach several hundred thousand.
Pelican flying
Annually, an average of more than 60,000 visitors come to the Cheyenne Bottoms for the purpose of hunting, bird watching, environmental study, fishing, and trapping. According to a study done in 1987, the economic impact of the Cheyenne Bottoms on the State's economy is greater than $2.8 million annually. The impact on Barton County alone is in excess of $1.8 million.

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