This IBA, owned and managed by the Mississippi Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, provides critical habitat for bird species dependent on Longleaf Pine Savanna.

Ornithological Summary

In winter, the endangered Mississippi Sandhill Crane and species of conservation concern such as Bachman's Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, and Le Conte's Sparrow can be found in the herbaceous or grassy understory. During the breeding season, species of conservation concern such as Brown-headed Nuthatch and Southeastern American Kestrel nest in the remnant pine trees while Prairie Warbler nests in wet scrub/shrub areas. During spring and fall migration, more than 80 species of landbirds including flycatchers, swallows, wrens, vireos, warblers, and buntings use the varied habitats.

Conservation Issues

The primary management focus of this mitigation bank is the restoration of coastal Longleaf Pine Savanna. It is one of the few sites in Mississippi ? and the only privately owned site ? where savanna habitats are being intensively managed for native birds and other wildlife. Also, this IBA serves as a biological link between the two units of the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. For this reason, it is important for cranes and other savanna species such as wintering Henslow's Sparrow. Until recently, this site was used for timber production. Initial restoration efforts involved the removal of existing pine plantations and a general clearing of the land. Prescribed fire, a critically important factor in the management and maintenance of this fire-dependent system, has been reintroduced onto the landscape. In addition to prescribed fire, efforts to restore the hydrology (i.e., sheet flow of water across the site) are also underway. Monitoring programs of plant and animal populations are ongoing at this site. In particular, systematic line transect surveys are being used to track changes in the abundance and distribution of bird populations.

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