Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Black Dog Preserve Unit

       
   

Area and County

    Dakota County
    Metro Area
     
 

Driving Directions

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Size

1,400 acres

 
 
Maps

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Trail Map

   
 
Parking

Cliff Fen Park
N44 47.220, W93 16.540

 
Hiking Trails

Black Dog Trail
From Cliff Fen Park to near Blackdog Park:
1.9 miles

 
Hunting

No hunting

 
Ecological Classification Province  

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Classification
Section  

Minnesota & NE Iowa Morainal

Subsection(s)  

St. Paul-Baldwin Plains

Land Type Association(s)

Pig’s Eye Alluvial Plain

Wescott Moraine

 
Native Plant Communities1

Calcareous Fen (Southeastern)

Mesic Prairie (Southern)

Pin Oak - Bur Oak Woodland

Seepage Meadow/Carr

 
Ownership

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 
Links

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 
Comments

Former Black Dog Nature Preserve SNA
Black Dog Preserve Scientific and Natural Area was de-designated an SNA on November 9, 2011. In December, 2011, the USFWS acquired an additional 126 acres. The Nature Conservancy donated 95 acres it owned and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources donated or sold an additional 31 acres of state owned land. Together, these two parcels comprised the former Black Dog Nature Preserve SNA. Following the acquisition, the Black Dog Trail was closed until July 25, 2012, while the US Fish & Wildlife Service completed a refuge evaluation.

Wildlife Sanctuary
Until 2012, a very small part of this preserve was a wildlife sanctuary and was accessible only to those with a research permit from the Minnesota DNR. The former(?) sanctuary can be viewed in its entirety from the adjacent railroad tracks.

 
Visits

5/7/2009

   

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   
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Crystal Boyd
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Black Dog Preserve Unit    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Mesic Prairie (Southern)

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Black Dog Preserve Unit    
       
       

 

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Slideshows
   
  Black Dog Nature Preserve SNA
Brian
 
  Black Dog Nature Preserve SNA  
 
About

Black Dog Nature Preserve Scientific and Natural Area in Savage, Minnesota, just south of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul).

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Visitor Observations
   
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Robert Briggs

               
Fungi and Lichens

Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)

Shaggy Mane
               

Wayne Rasmussen

               
Birds

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Red-tailed Hawk

               

Crystal Boyd

               
Plants

blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium sp.)

edible valerian (Valeriana edulis var. ciliata)

hoary puccoon (Lithospermum canescens)

small white lady’s slipper (Cypripedium candidum)

swamp buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus)

yellow star-grass (Hypoxis hirsuta)

small white lady’s-slipper


 

 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Observations
   
Amphibians

USFWS Wildlife Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

 
Birds

Black Dog Lake is an important stop for migrating waterfowl.

Minnesota DNR Bird checklist (former Black Dog Nature Preserve SNA)

USFWS Bird Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

 
 

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)

Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)

American Goldfinch

Black-capped Chickadee

Northern Cardinal

 
Fungi and Lichens

Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)

Shaggy Mane
 
Insects and Arachnids

Leaf beetles have been released here by the DNR in an effort to control the spread of purple loosestrife.

 
 

USFWS Damselfly and Dragonfly Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

USFWS Wildlife Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units) (butterflies)

 
 

American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

eastern pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

eastern tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma americanum)

eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

sumac flea beetle (Blepharida rhois)

eastern pondhawk

 

 

 
Mammals

USFWS Wildlife Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

 
 

eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)

eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

eastern cottontail
 
Plants

Many rare calcareous fen species once found on this site no longer grow here. Water levels have been reduced due to draw down from urban wells.

 
 

Five plant species with conservation status in Minnesota are found here:

 

Threatened

edible valerian (Valeriana edulis var. ciliata)

hair-like beak-rush (Rhynchospora capillacea)

sterile sedge (Carex sterilis)

whorled nut-rush (Scleria verticillata)

 

Special concern

smooth sawgrass (Cladium mariscoides)

 
 

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Plant List

 
 

Plants frequently found in:

Calcareous Fen (Southeastern) OPp93c

Mesic Prairie (Southern) UPs23a

Pin Oak - Bur Oak Woodland FDs37b

Seepage Meadow/Carr WMs83a1

 
 

American plum

black cherry

common blue violet

edible valerian

garlic mustard

hoary puccoon

hoary puccoon

marsh marigold

 
Reptiles

USFWS Wildlife Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

 

 

Binoculars


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