Mathews Brake is one of five federal refuges included in the Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Established in 1980, Mathews Brake includes 2,418 acres and is located in the biologically and culturally unique ?Delta? region of the Mississippi-Yazoo alluvial plain. The major feature of the site is a 1,810-acre oxbow lake consisting of Bald Cypress and Tupelo Gum in the deeper portions with Buttonbush and Swamp Privet thickets in more shallow water. Other habitats include bottomland hardwoods, reforested areas and dozens of Cypress sloughs.
This area should support an exceptional diversity of Neotropical migrants, waterfowl and waterbirds because it is large enough and diverse enough to support most of the species that occur in the Delta. Wading birds such as Wood Storks and Great Egrets visit this site during late summer and fall. Neotropical migrants such as Prothonotary Warblers and Swainson?s Warblers can be found nesting throughout this site.
Lotus has taken over the oxbow lake and is hurting waterfowl and fish habitat. Commercial, residential, infrastructure and recreation development area all potential major threats as human activity is increasing adjacent to the refuge. As a national wildlife refuge, the refuge will be managed following a Comprehensive Conservation Plan, which gathers input from a wide spectrum of science and management professionals, especially migratory bird specialists. The plan will be updated every 15 years. The initial plan is being formulated and offers a strong platform for keeping management practices current with the needs of priority species.