The Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary has 302 acres of wetlands offering a rare and fragile ecosystem, including endangered turtles and unique plant life. It is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 52 and Mormon Road, about 3 miles south of Amboy.
The complex, interspersed with black oak savannas, sedge meadows, and sand prairie, has unique natural features that are home to one of the state’s largest populations of nesting Blanding’s turtles – an Illinois endangered species. A recent study of moths near some blueberry plants rare to Northern Illinois discovered six Eastern newts, which have not been seen in this region since the 1980s. Sandhill cranes headline a bird list of about 93 species that have been found on the premises, and 380 plant species have been found, such as pinweeds, puccoons, asters, and white indigo.
The marsh is open to the public seven days a week for walking and bird-watching. No dogs are allowed, however, because of the sensitive plant life and wildlife there. It also has become a scientific research and environmental education resource for the region, as the marsh is the northernmost sanctuary under the protection of the Audubon Society.
For more information, visit the Illinois Audubon Society online at www.illinoisaudubon.org or call them at 217-544-2473.