BCR 26 - Mississippi Alluvial Valley

BCR 26 mapThe Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley consists of approximately 24 million acres of alluvial floodplain south of the 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 and today less than 25% of the region remains forested and flooding has been reduced by about 90%. Despite these changes, the region still winters large numbers of waterfowl, estimated at about 9% 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.

ABC-designated Globally Important Bird Areas in this BCR

Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge (Southeast Louisiana Refuges) and the Atchafalaya River Basin, including Bayou des Ourses Area, Indian Bayou, and Sherburne Wildlife Management Area

Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge , including Dewey Wills National Wildlife Refuge and Catahoula Lake

Delta National Forest

Lake Ponchartrain Causeway

Mathews Brake

Morgan Brake and Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuges

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge

Reelfoot Lake Wildlife Management Area

Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge , including Big Lake and Buckhorn Wildlife Management Areas

White River National Wildlife Refuge

Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge Complex including Hillside