This IBA is the only national wildlife refuge in Mississippi bordering the Mississippi River. The river floodplain is lined by Loess Hills, which are a unique geologic feature formed by Pleistocene glacial deposits that were blown from the Mississippi flood plain. The area also contains a diverse collection of habitat types including swamps, lakes, Loess Bluffs, upland hardwoods, river-front hardwoods, Willow thickets, bottomland hardwoods, Cypress-Tupelo, and agriculture. Shallow water impoundments have been developed since 1990.

Ornithological Summary

It also includes extensive Loess Hill forests, which provide valuable habitat for migrant landbirds and one of the few known nesting sites for Worm-eating Warblers in the state. The flood plain area of the refuge is characterized by shallow water impoundments that are used by large concentrations of post-breeding waterbirds including Wood Storks, White Ibis, and Roseate Spoonbills. In addition to waterbirds, large numbers of wintering waterfowl and migrating shorebirds can be found using flooded impoundments. Two rookeries of herons and egrets and two to three Bald Eagle nesting territories exist.

Conservation Issues

Continued management of water impoundments is critical to maintaining optimal habitat waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds. Proper habitat management for these species, and access to those habitats, allows good opportunities for public education about birds of conservation concern. Continuing efforts to restore 10,000 acres of native forest have met with varied success due to challenges associated with hydraulic alterations in the region. Control of feral hogs may be important for overall habitat management. This IBA also offers important public fishing and hunting opportunities.

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