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Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Phone: 601-432-2400

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Improving Old Field Habitat at Divide Section WMA.
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) wildlife managers are working to improve wildlife habitat within old fields at Divide Section Wildlife Management Area (DSWMA) in northeast Mississippi. Since 2011, approximately 50 acres have been improved through a combination of selective herbicides and native warm season grass establishment.
Herbicides are used to control invasive vegetation occurring on the WMA like Bermuda grass, tall fescue, and sericia lespedeza. These plants among others form dense mats and out-compete native vegetation beneficial to wildlife such as rabbit, quail, and wild turkeys. 
In certain areas where the natural seed bank is believed to be depleted, native warm season grasses like little blue stem and Indian grass have been planted following the herbicide treatment to provide escape and nesting cover for wildlife. 
Fall disking and burning will also be used to keep old fields on DSWMA in a desirable state. To date, 50 acres of old field habitat have been improved on DSWMA with opportunity to improve at least 500 additional acres in the future. Management of existing old fields will prove beneficial to a host of game and non-game species of wildlife on DSWMA.   

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