Arkansas Post

In 1686, Henri de Tonti established a trading post known as "Poste de Arkansea" at the Quapaw village of Osotouy. It was the first semi-permanent French settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley. The establishment of the Post was the first step in a long struggle between France, Spain, and England for dominance of the Mississippi River Valley. Over the years, the Post relocated as necessary due to flooding from the Arkansas River, but its position always served of strategic importance for the French, Spanish, American, and Confederate military.
Spanish soldiers and British partisans clashed here in the 1783 Colbert Raid, the only Revolutionary War action in Arkansas.
Arkansas Post became part of the United States following the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. By 1819, the post was a thriving river port and the largest city in the region and selected as the first capital of the Arkansas Territory.
During the Civil War, Confederate troops tried to maintain tactical control of the confluence of the Arkansas and White Rivers, and in 1862 they constructed a massive earthen fortification known as Fort Hindman at the Post. In January 1863 Union troops destroyed the fort, ensuring control of the Arkansas River.

external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQFctDMeYDDUmxJH4XOi4hC-qTNlvjKf0dVqj9N_wqlI2NI9L_FBw

Buffulo river

In the progression of seasons, animal abundance within the Ozark Mountains ebbs and flows as animals migrate in and out of the oak-hickory ecosystem that exists within the rough hills and valleys that create the Buffalo National River. With the coming of spring, fish are actively migrating up the river corridor into tributaries, and songbirds are arriving from far off places, filling the forest canopy with movement and song. Wildlife observers have recorded 55 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, and 59 species of fish, along with a multitude of reptiles, amphibians, insects and other invertebrates. Several of these species have restricted habitat preferences, which are only found within the hills and hollows of the Boston and Springfield Plateau ecoregions; many of these habitats are found within the boundary of the park.



external image spacer.gif

An estimated 29 species of Amphibians, from the orders Caudata (Salamanders) and Anura (Frogs and Toads), exist within the borders of Buffalo National River. Efforts to locate and document all of the amphibian species, and discover new species, are currently underway.
Since amphibians, with some exceptions, require a watery environment to reproduce, most of these species can be found in and near the river’s edge. Some ephemeral aquatic habitats may be found high on the mountaintops creating a unique environment resembling a lowland environment found in other ecoregions of Arkansas. These habitats exist only in spring so that species which rely on them for reproduction must act very quickly.
Toads are not required to have hydrated skin to supplement respiration. They tend to range further from the mesic conditions required by their close relatives, the frogs.


external image spacer.gif

Approximately 200 species of birds use the Buffalo National River for at least some part of the year. Nearly half of those species live here year round and can be seen frequently during canoe trips down the river. Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, and Wood ducks are a common sight in almost any section of the river, and Bald Eagles are observed frequently during the winter, as they rest in trees on the ridge tops that overlook the river. Nearly 100 of the recorded species migrate to the oak-hickory forest that surround the river to build nests, lay eggs, and raise their young here during the summer. The unbroken tracts of forest attract other migrators to feed and rest during their spring and fall migrations between breeding grounds of northern U.S. and Canada and wintering grounds in Central and South America. Many of the birds found within the canopy of the forest are more likely to be heard than seen. The challenge of identifying these cryptic birds by only their song or call can be a rewarding experience and one easily found within the dense woods of Buffalo National River.
The richness and diversity of the mammal population within the Buffalo National River is a product of the complexity and range in habitats. Riparian habitats (lush shrubs and trees) found along the river’s edge, rich green open-field environments, wooded hillsides and dry glades and rocky outcroppings are just a few of the unique habitats that provide a niche for the mammal species found within the park. The Buffalo National River is known to have more than 55 species of mammals, three of them are endangered bats that are found within the karst cave networks located on the hillsides and valley draws.