UPDATED: The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve reopens to public after temporary closure

UPDATED: The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve, the restoration gem of Illinois, reopened to the public Friday; it had been temporarily closed since March 16 because of possible avian flu.

SHARE UPDATED: The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve reopens to public after temporary closure
File photo of lotus at The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve. Credit: Dale Bowman

File photo of lotus at The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve.

Dale Bowman

The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve reopened to the public on Friday after being closed since March 16 because of possible avian flu.

Emiquon is the restoration gem of Illinois. It’s on the west side of the Illinois River near Havana.

Here is the gist of the announcement from TNC:

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has reopened its Emiquon Preserve to the public Friday, March 25. The reopening comes after the temporary closure of the preserve after a confirmed case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1) virus, or HPAI. The public is again welcome to explore Emiquon through its walking paths, Wetland and Lakeside Observatories, and utilize the boat launch. Daily monitoring shows a significant decline in the number of dead geese at Emiquon, and a very dense population of snow geese have moved out of the area. The Nature Conservancy along with its partners at the United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Illinois Department of Nature Resources will continue to monitor for dead geese and work with the National Wildlife Health Center to confirm any infections. Initial analysis done by the National Wildlife Health Center confirmed HPAI in one of many dead snow geese found onsite at Emiquon. This resulted in the temporary closure of the preserve on March 16 out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of visitors.

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