WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE WILDLIFE BUREAU IN CONSERVATION?
The MDWFP Wildlife Bureau is an authority on wildlife conservation and management, and serves current and future generations of Mississippians by ensuring the well-being and sustainability of the State's wildlife while providing and promoting recreational opportunities. The Wildlife Bureau is composed of wildlife biologists and managers who oversee the conservation of wildlife throughout the Magnolia State.
The Wildlife Bureau accomplishes our conservation objectives by addressing the three central themes of the MDWFP mission:
I. CONSERVE AND ENHANCE MISSISSIPPI'S WILDLIFE, FISHERIES, AND PARKS
Managing Mississippi's Wildlife
Wildlife biologists provide assistance to landowners and hunting clubs to enhance wildlife and their habitats on private lands. This free guidance is tailored to meet the needs of individual properties and can range from a single property visit to long-term cooperative relationships that implement detailed harvest or habitat management plans.
The Wildlife Bureau also directly manages wildlife and habitat on 52 Wildlife Management Areas throughout the state that encompasses more than 675,000 acres. Each WMA is uniquely administered depending upon its physiographic region, habitat types, or focal wildlife species.
WMA management may include the implementation of area-specific regulations to manage the harvest of wildlife, land management activities such as prescribed burning, timber harvesting, moist-soil management, supplemental plantings, herbicide applications, or native vegetation management, and infrastructure maintenance such as the upkeep of roads, buildings, equipment, check stations, and other structures.
Wildlife biologists within the Wildlife Bureau work with its conservation partners to develop and implement national or regional-level plans aimed at the conservation or restoration of particular wildlife or habitats.
- North American Waterfowl Management Plan
- National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
- America's Longleaf Restoration Initiative
- Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
By providing science-based recommendations on hunting season frameworks, bag limits, and other game regulations, the Wildlife Bureau assists the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in ensuring the sustainable use of Mississippi's resident wildlife resources.
The hunting of some wildlife species, such as migratory birds, is regulated in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Wildlife biologists from the Wildlife Bureau represent the MDWFP and the interests of Mississippi's sportsmen on oversight committees that assist the USFWS in setting harvest regulations for these species.
Monitoring and Research
The Wildlife Bureau collects data on the status of many wildlife species and trends regarding their use by hunters.
Examples of wildlife and hunter surveys include:
- Deer Management Assistance Program
- Spring Gobbler Hunting Survey
- Waterfowl Aerial Surveys
- Deer Herd Health Evaluations
- Wild Turkey Brood Survey
- Quail Surveys
- Mourning Dove Survey
- Deer Camera Surveys
- Alligator Surveys
- Wildlife Disease Surveys
- Hunter Harvest Surveys
Wildlife Bureau staff directly band, tag, or radio-collar wildlife to discover more about their populations or abundance.
The Wildlife Bureau also collaborates with faculty from the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University to develop in-depth field studies that answer complex questions about the management and conservation of Mississippi's wildlife.
II. PROVIDE QUALITY OUTDOOR RECREATION
The Wildlife Bureau supports the MDWFP in providing sustainable hunting opportunities.
The Wildlife Bureau regularly solicits feedback from hunters regarding their attitudes and the effect of regulations on their experiences.
The Wildlife Bureau emphasizes opportunities that introduce youth to hunting and the outdoors, and organizes events that allow youth to experience the hunting traditions that have been the foundation of wildlife conservation for generations.
The Wildlife Bureau provides hunting and other outdoor recreational opportunities on 52 Wildlife Management Areas throughout the state and proactively seeks to expand public land hunting opportunities for all Mississippians.
III. ENGAGE THE PUBLIC IN NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION
Through field days, workshops, speaking engagements, reports, popular articles, technical publications, radio and television, websites, and other media, the MDWFP's Wildlife Bureau imparts a deeper understanding and appreciation of Mississippi's wildlife, their management, and the challenges they face, to all Mississippi's citizens.