Chinook Fish & Wildlife Area
“Chinook Fish and Wildlife area is 2141 acres of rolling grasslands and wooded unreclaimed areas. Approximately 80 acres of the property is water (mostly strip pits). Originally leased as a Public Fishing Area in 1982, Chinook Fish & Wildlife opened in 1997 and consisted of 2141 acres of surface mine land near Vigo county in western Clay County.
Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Chinook Fish and Wildlife Area are derived from the sale of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. Funds are also received from the federal Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson programs to aid fish and wildlife restoration. These funds are derived from taxes levied on sport hunting and fishing equipment. Indiana hunters and fishermen are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people.”
“The Universal Mine IBA, located near the western border of Indiana in Vermillion and Vigo counties, is one of the largest reclaimed surface mines in the state. The site contains an approximate 6500 acres of grassland-type habitat, nearly half of which is considered undisturbed. Despite the fact that the vegetation is largely dominated by non-native Eurasian cool-season grasses, such as tall fescue and smooth brome, several studies and published papers produced by Peter Scott, Steve Lima, and other researches at Indiana State University strongly suggest that such grasslands created by mine reclamation are as productive for obligate prairie birds as natural remnants or restored native habitats.
Spanning an area of approximately 6500 acres, Universal Mine represents one of Indiana's most contiguous grasslands, even though the habitat was created via the reclamation of a former coal strip mine. Because of its size, the Universal area supports one of the largest nesting populations of a variety of prairie specialists, including four species which have shown severe declines in the last 40 years - Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Dickcissel, and Eastern Meadowlark. Population estimates for these species are as follows (derived from densities found in De Vault, et al, 2002) - Grasshopper Sparrow, 430 breeding pairs; Henslow's Sparrow, 181 breeding pairs; Dickcissel, 246 breeding pairs; and Eastern Meadowlark, 670 breeding pairs. Given the expanse of the unbroken habitat which these grassland provide, studies indicate that this reclamation is as productive for bird population as native prairie patches (Lima S., E. Galligan. 2002. Productivity of birds nesting in reclaimed surgace coal mine grasslands. Unpublished report?). The large size of this former strip mine and scarcity of forested habitats also result in a general lack of Brown-headed Cowbirds at Universal. Consequently, less than one percent of the nests of grassland specialist passerines are parasitized (E.W. Galligan and S.L. Lima, unpubl. data).
In addition to passerine species, Universal Mine supports perhaps the largest breeding population of Upland Sandpipers in Indiana; an estimated 4-5 pair breed here, with a peak count of 14 individuals seen during the summer of 2005.
The reclaimed Universal Mine also provides quality wetland habitat for migratory and nesting waterbird species. This, combined with the expansive grasslands which occur on the property, may help buffer the urban and agricultural influences which affect wetland loss and degradation throughout the Midwest. Waterbird species which have been present at Universal during the breeding season include American Bittern, Least Bittern, and King Rail.”
Hawthorn Park & JI Case wetland wildlife refuge
“The refuge is located on East Old Maple Avenue, .6 mile north of U.S. 40 off of Hunt Road (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on south border). Hawthorn Park & JI Case Wetland Wildlife Refuge consists of 256.72 acres and total water area of 68.6 acres. Inside Hawthorn Park is a wildlife observation shelter overlooking J I Case Wetland Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge's 50.3 acre lake attracts fisherman and migratory birds. The campground, open May 1 - October 15, has 75 modern sites and 10 primitive sites.”
Dobbs Memorial Park
“Located on the east side of Terre Haute, Indiana, Dobbs Park is a unique city park which includes a Nature Center, a Native American Museum with an heirloom garden, a 3 acre pond, a restored prairie, a butterfly garden (under construction), and three miles of trails which take you past a restored wetlands, through pine woods, old growth and second growth forest, and a 25 acre State Nature Preserve.”
Wabashiki Fish & Wildlife Area
“Wabashiki Fish & Wildlife Area is composed of 2,600 acres of floodplain along the Wabash River. In 2010, Vigo County Parks Department and the Department of Natural Resources joined together in a cooperative effort to offer this bird viewing paradise to all of its patrons.
Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Wabashiki Fish & Wildlife Area are derived from the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. Funds are also received from the federal Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson programs to aid fish and wildlife restoration. These funds are derived from taxes levied on sport hunting and fishing equipment.”