Bird Conservation Region 26

Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Description: The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley consists of approximately 24 million acres of alluvial floodplain south of the Mississippi River’s confluence with the Ohio River. Prior to European settlement, this was the greatest bottomland hardwood forest on earth and was subject to massive annual flood events of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. These forested wetlands were the main wintering area for mid-continent Mallards, Wood Ducks, and other waterfowl species. Flood control and deforestation for agriculture began more than 100 years ago. Today, less than 25 percent of the region remains forested, and flooding has been reduced by about 90 percent. Despite these changes, the region still winters large numbers of waterfowl, estimated at about 9 percent of the continental duck population. With the large reduction in native habitat and natural flooding, the major waterfowl management issue today is providing enough foraging habitat on managed private and public lands to reliably meet the needs of wintering ducks and geese. Many shorebird species also use managed wetlands for migration stopover sites. Remnant forests harbor populations of Swainson’s Warbler, prothonotary Warbler, and Swallow-tailed Kite. The region provides excellent colonial waterbird habitat, particularly to the south where large numbers of White Ibis, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and other herons and egrets nest.

Bird Conservation Plans
Landbirds - Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Shorebirds - Lower Mississippi/Western Gulf Coast
Waterbirds - Southeast U.S.
Waterfowl - Lower Mississippi Valley Region
All Birds - Lower Mississippi Valley Region

Joint Venture area: Lower Mississippi Valley

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