Natural Features & Ecosystems
(Copyright Al Gardner)
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways protects 134 miles of the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers and some 80,000 acres of river, forest, open field and glade environments. Riparian habitats are a major component of the park. Typified by sycamores, maples, cottonwoods and willows, floodplain forests line the rivers. These provide habitat for Swainson's warblers, wood ducks, great blue herons and a wide variety of other species. As a significant karst resource, the park contains the world's largest collection of first magnitude springs. It also contains over 300 known caves, numerous sinkholes and losing streams.
The park also contains several "Missouri Natural Areas", parcels set aside due to their unique scenic beuty or scientific value. For a list of these special areas, please click here.