ADDRESS: P.O. Box 117, Sibley, MS 39165
PHONE: (601) 442-6696
DIRECTIONS TO REFUGE: 10 miles south of Natchez on Highway 61 South right on York Road, 2 miles to Refuge entrance left on Pintail Lane. Refuge headquarters is approximately 1/2 mile on right.
ENDANGERED & THREATENED SPECIES ON THE REFUGE: Bald Eagle, peregrine falcon, wood storks, interior least tern, big eared bat, black bear.
OTHER WILDLIFE SPECIES: Various shorebirds, wading birds, Bald eagle, ducks (most common; mallard, green and blue winged teal, pintail, wood duck, northern shoveler), Mississippi kite, hawks, woodpeckers, hummingbird, wild turkey, owls, various neotropical migrants, black bear, white tailed deer, river otter, bobcat, beaver, armadillo, American alligator, box and water turtles, canebrake rattlesnake, cottonmouth.
HABITAT DESCRIPTION: Habitat within St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge offers a myriad of ecological niches for wildlife. Cypress swamps and hardwood forests teaming with oak, gum, elm, ash, and cottonwood comprise 30 percent of the Refuge. Ten percent of the acreage is open water, while the remaining area consists of cleared land and land created due to the meandering of the Mississippi River. Rains and backwater flooding fill depressions and basins in low areas creating optimum wintering ground for waterfowl as well as unique habitat for other forms of wildlife. Natural water bodies and a multitude of beaver ponds create ideal habitat for summer nesting wood ducks.
FOCUS ACTIVITIES: One of the primary objectives of St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge is to enhance the potential of the refuge's wetland areas to support migrating and wintering waterfowl. Presently, the refuge floods via backwater from St. Catherine Creek and the Mississippi River. However, when the backwater recedes to within the banks of the creek, many acres of potential wetland habitat are no longer available. Refuge management efforts include installing water control structures, culverts, and improving a levee/road system which will retain backwater for those periods when areas may otherwise become dry. Several of the low sites retaining water are managed for production of moist soil vegetation such as smartweed, common millet, sprangletop and rushes, while other areas of the refuge are cooperatively managed for agricultural crop production. The farmers with cooperative agreements are required to leave a portion of the crop unharvested. The combination of natural and agricultural foods available helps accommodate the nutritional and energetic requirements of wintering waterfowl and other wildlife using the refuge. Management plans include lowering water levels in waterfowl impoundments in the spring to provide feeding and resting areas for shorebirds and other migrant species. Current refuge management strategies aim to restore major portions of the refuge with several hardwood species including oaks and bald cypress that grew native before man's intervention. Reforestation efforts will enhance wildlife diversity as well as prevent loss of valuable soil as a result of wind and backwater flooding from seasonal fluctuations of the Mississippi River.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC USE: The public is welcome to visit the refuge year round. There is something for everyone to enjoy; fishing, hunting, nature observation, and hiking. You are encouraged to stop at the refuge headquarters. A Nature Trail is available near the headquarters where a variety of wildlife may be observed. Public hunting is available during the state seasons (permits required). Fishing is permitted from March 1st through September 15th.
E:MAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
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