Important Bird Areas

Bienville National Forest

Mississippi

Most of the lands making up the 178,542-acre Bienville National Forest in east central Mississippi were purchased directly from four large timber companies in 1934. Timber consisted of Loblolly, Shortleaf, and Longleaf Pine. Oak-hickory forest is the climax cover type while the pine forest is a sub-climax cover type. Timber harvest and prescribe burns are management tools used to set back succession.

The Bienville National Forest is managed for the use and protection of its natural resources and for a continuing supply of timber. There are three designated wildlife management areas within Bienville National Forest which are managed cooperatively by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks: Bienville, Caney Creek, and Tallahala. Habitat types found in the management areas include open pine forests, bottomland hardwoods, riparian stream corridors, and a few ponds or smaller lakes scattered throughout the national forest.

Ornithological Summary

Bienville National Forest is home to numerous species of high conservation concern.

Category 1: Target Species
Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Bachman's Sparrow, Prairie Warbler, and Northern Bobwhite are all present on the national forest; and all require fire to provide essential habitat for their nesting and year round food and cover requirements. Red-cockaded Woodpecker (listed as endangered), Bachman's Sparrow, and Northern Bobwhite are in decline because of habitat loss. Bienville National Forest provides both over-wintering and breeding habitat for Bachman's Sparrow with the numbers of Bachman?s Sparrows increasing during the winter months (These observations warrant an ornithological study). There are 94 active groups of the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker in Bienville National Forest (62 on Bienville Wildlife Management Area, 30 on Caney Creek Wildlife Management Area, and two on Tallahala Wildlife Management Area).

Other IBA target species that regularly occur on Bienville National Forest are Chuck-will's-widow, Chimney Swift, Red-headed Woodpecker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Wood Thrush, Prothonotary Warbler, and Kentucky Warbler. Other IBA target species occasionally found are Gray Catbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Palm Warbler, and Painted Bunting.

Category 4: Monitoring
Under the National Forest Management Act, the Forest Service is charged with managing national forests to provide for a diversity of plant and animal communities. Therefore, the Bienville Ranger District monitors bird species by conducting bird point counts and reporting on the status of management indicator species and their habitats. There are 13 bird species designated as management indicator species. Populations of Red-cockaded Woodpecker, a management indicator species, have been monitored on Bienville National Forest since 1978. Breeding bird point counts are ongoing since 1999.

Conservation Issues

Prescribed burns are conducted by Bienville Ranger District.
Red-cockaded Woodpecker groups are actively managed by Bienville Ranger District accordingly to the Forest Plan and the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Management of Red-cockaded Woodpecker?s.

The Forest Service protects Wild Turkey nesting areas by posting signs, locking gates and reducing human disturbance during the nesting season.

Ownership

Most of the lands making up the 178,542-acre Bienville National Forest in east central Mississippi were purchased directly from four large timber companies in 1934. There are three designated wildlife management areas within Bienville National Forest, which are managed cooperatively by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks: Bienville, Caney Creek, and Tallahala.

Habitat

Timber originally consisted of Loblolly, Shortleaf, and Longleaf Pine. Oak-hickory forest is the climax cover type while the pine forest is a sub-climax cover type. Habitat types found in the management areas include open pine forests, bottomland hardwoods, riparian stream corridors, and a few ponds or smaller lakes scattered throughout the national forest.

Land Use

Prescribed burns are conducted by Bienville Ranger District. Red-cockaded Woodpecker groups are actively managed by Bienville Ranger District accordingly to the Forest Plan and the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Management of Red-cockaded Woodpecker?s.

The Forest Service protects Wild Turkey nesting areas by posting signs, locking gates and reducing human disturbance during the nesting season.

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