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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wildlife Habitat Improvements Planned for Pascagoula River WMA

JACKSON - This spring, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will conduct habitat improvements on Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), a 37,000-acre WMA located within George and Jackson counties in southeast Mississippi. Although predominately composed of bottomland hardwood forest, the WMA contains scattered pine sites along its perimeter where prescribed burning is applicable. The recent addition of new firebreaks on a 200-acre mixed slash and longleaf pine tract will allow personnel to conduct a prescribed burn this spring. Planning will also begin for future prescribed burns on other tracts. The use of controlled fire improves habitat for numerous game and non-game wildlife species by promoting fresh herbaceous growth which contains valuable nutrients. Prescribed fire also helps control undesirable woody plant species, such as yaupon and sweet gum, which can dominate an understory and out-compete more desirable plant species. The potential for wildfire is also diminished when prescribed burn regimens are in place.

Control of invasive plant species aids in improving wildlife habitat; therefore, it is a high priority for MDWFP personnel. Cogongrass occurs throughout Pascagoula River WMA and provides no benefit to wildlife. This grass competes with native plant species, spreads aggressively, and is difficult to control. Spring is an excellent time to identify cogongrass due to its white fluffy flowers and seed head. Herbicide application will be used during the growing season to control this nuisance plant. Cogongrass eradication results in a more diverse native plant community which is highly beneficial to wildlife.For more information regarding wildlife management areas in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com/wma or call us at (601) 432-2199. 

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