Busch/Weldon/Howell Conservation Area Complex IBA
(St. Charles and St. Louis Counties)
Historically the land occupied by the Weldon Springs / August Busch IBA included upland prairie, savanna, and woodlands, grading to oak and mixed-hardwood
Busch/Weldon/Howell Conservation Area Complex IBA forest in the hilly breaks, to bottomland prairie and marshland (Nigh and Schroeder 2002). Today, unlike the surrounding landscape, the area remains protected by MDC, and contains second-growth upland and bottomland forest, shrubland, marshland, and cropland.
All of the IBA is publicly-owned Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) land, comprising August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area (CA) (7040 acres, 2850 ha), Weldon Springs CA (7563 acres, 3062 ha), and Howell Island CA (2707 acres, 1096 ha).
Nesting Cerulean Warblers, and—more commonly—singing males during breeding dates, have been detected along Lost Valley Trail at Weldon Springs CA, and formerly at Busch CA. The river bottom and artificial lakes provides stopover habitats for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. Large tracts of upland forest exist for breeding forest interior birds. Shrubland bird habitat is also abundant in upland areas.
Priorities stated by MDC for management on the conservation areas include prairie and savanna restoration on Busch CA and wetland restoration on Weldon Spring CA.