Fish And Wildlife Service, Illinois.
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge's 44,000 acres of land and water contain a wide diversity of flora and fauna. Major habitat types on the refuge include hardwood forest, agricultural land, grazing units, brushland, wetlands, and lakes.
The refuge provides significant resting areas for migratory birds utilizing the Mississippi Flyway. Wintering numbers of Canada Geese can peak at 200,000. A total of 700 plant species, 245 bird species, 33 mammal species, 63 fish species, and 44 reptile and amphibian species have been documented on the refuge.
The western 24,000 acres of the refuge provide a wide range of recreational opportunities and also includea 4,050-acre wilderness area. The eastern portion, 20,000 acres, is a wildlife sanctuary, and public use is limited.
Annual visitation is approximately 1,000,000 visitors. Industrial activities on the refuge range from manufacturing and storage facilities to administrative offices. Many buildings now housing industries were used in the manufacturing of explosives during World War II, and they are still used for military ordnance production today. The concrete igloos built for munition storage are now leased to private industry for storage of many types of products.
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is located five miles west of Marion, Illinois, and five miles south of Herrin, Illinois, on State Route 148. From I-57 in Marion, go west on Illinois Route 13 about three miles to Illinois Route 148. Turn left (south) and go two and one-half miles. The refuge Visitor Information Center is located on the left.