• A quiet summer walk through the Marching Bear Group of effigy mounds

    Effigy Mounds

    National Monument Iowa

Animals

Nature and Science

Whitetail fawn attempts to hide in underbrush

Effigy Mounds National Monument is located where the western prairies meet the eastern forests. The monument also protects both upland and wetland habitats. The result of this mixing of habitat types is that a great diversity of animals call the monument home.

Sightings of whitetail deer, turkey, squirrel, raccoon, turkey vultures and chipmunks are a common occurence during a hike. The forest is filled with songbirds during the summer and you may even see a black rat snake laying on a sunny section of trail, trying to warm itself on a cool morning, or catch a glimpse of a five-lined skink as it scampers through fallen leaves near fire point. However, the animal kingdom includes more than just birds, reptiles and mammals - insects and spiders are part of this kingdom, too. Great spangled fritillaries and Monarch butterflies, as well as Ruby meadowhawk dragonflies, can be often seen hovering above the prairie during the summer months.

Did You Know?

Marching Bear Mound Group lies beside the route of the Military Road

Soldiers built a military road that eventually extended approximately fifty miles, connecting Fort Atkinson with Fort Crawford. The road — which passed through the monument's South Unit — was one of the first government-authorized roads within what would become the State of Iowa.