Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Nature Conservancy selected the Platte River as a priority site because of its significant upland and wetland habitat for migratory water birds and native resident plants and animals.
Information About the Site
The Conservancy owns six tracts of land totaling 4,609 acres along the Platte River, and has five easements on 2,866 more. We've restored about 1,500 acres of cropland to high-diversity prairie in an effort to enlarge and reconnect fragments of native prairie—and now we manage them with a combination of prescribed fire and grazing.
The stretch of the Platte River known as the Big Bend Reach is the most important migratory bird area along the United States portion of the Central Flyway of North America. The Platte and its adjacent wet meadows in the Big Bend region provide habitat for millions of migratory birds including some 500,000 sandhill cranes and millions of ducks and geese.
It is an important stopover location for migrating whooping cranes during the spring and fall migration. The area is also very important for threatened and endangered species such as the bald eagle, interior least tern, piping plover and many grassland bird species.
Our nature trail is open to the public.