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comprehensive wildlife conservation strategy

428 Pages · 2012 · 11.77 MB · English

  • comprehensive wildlife conservation strategy


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    O N S E R V A T I O N T R A T E G Y



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    VERSION 1



    Coordinated by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife,


    Fisheries and Parks on behalf of the State of Mississippi



    October, 2005





    MISSISSIPPI’S COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY



    M ’


    I S S I S S I P P I S


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    O M P R E H E N S I V E


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    I L D L I F E O N S E R V A T I O N


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    VERSION 1.1



    COORDINATED BY THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS


    ON BEHALF OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



    NOVEMBER, 2005



    MISSISSIPPI’S COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY


    Our Mission:




    It is the mission of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries,



    and Parks to conserve and enhance Mississippi’s natural resources, to


    provide continuing outdoor recreational opportunities, to maintain the


    ecological integrity and aesthetic quality of the resources and to


    ensure socioeconomic and educational opportunities for present and


    future generations.


    For comments or queries regarding this strategy,


    please contact:



    Charles Knight


    charles.knight@mmns.state.ms.us



    Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks


    Mississippi Museum of Natural Science


    2148 Riverside Drive


    Jackson, MS 39202



    601-354-7303


    www.mdwfp.com/cwcs



    Credits:


    Charles Knight and Elizabeth Barber, CWCS Coordinators


    Photos by the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, except where noted.


    Illustrations by Sam Beibers from Endangered Species of Mississippi.


    Maps by Nick Winstead, MMNS




    :


    Suggested Citation Format


    Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. 2005. Mississippi’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.


    Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson,


    Mississippi.




    The MDWFP is an equal opportunity employer and provider of programs and services. If anyone believes they have been


    subjected to discrimination on the basis of political affiliation, race color, national origin, marital status, sex, religion, creed,


    age or disability, they may file a complaint alleging discrimination with either the MDWFP, P. O. Box 451, Jackson, MS


    39205-0451, or the U.S. Equal Opportunities Commission, 1810 L. Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20507



    MISSISSIPPI’S COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY


    FOREWORD




    The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks was created in 1932.


    Since its inception, our state has seen its wild turkey and white-tailed deer populations


    restored, the return of the American alligator and bald eagles, and 800,000 acres of


    wildlife habitat have been conserved and protected through our 38 wildlife


    management areas. Opportunities to hunt, fish, canoe, wildlife watch and camp have


    expanded greatly thanks to the collective efforts of our agency staff, partners, other


    agencies and organizations and our congressional, state and legislative leadership.


    Funding for traditional programs is provided by hunting and fishing licenses and


    through federal aid provided by the Pittman-Robertson Act, the Dingell-Johnson Act


    and Wallop-Breaux Amendment.



    Where we have devoted our attention, resources and applied our knowledge of wildlife and fisheries


    management, many game species and their habitats have thrived. Yet the vast majority of our wildlife species


    have not received sufficient management attention, and many have fallen through the cracks. Today we spend


    most of our budget on 14 percent of the wildlife and fisheries species in our state, while the other 86 percent


    receive almost no attention until they are in danger of extinction. Like all states, we face widespread declines


    and losses across all species groups and ecosystems. In the U.S. over 1,200 animals and plants have been


    federally listed as threatened or endangered. Over 90 more are proposed for listing and another 250 are


    candidates. In Mississippi, 86 species are listed.



    To prevent more species from becoming threatened or endangered, and to keep the common species common,


    we as an agency, a state and a country must broaden our attention to the great diversity of wildlife and natural


    communities as a whole. It is time for MDWFP to extend its efforts to truly be an “all wildlife agency”.



    The good news is that we are receiving help and encouragement. Congress recognized that despite our best


    efforts, many wildlife populations continue to decline, and that a new approach is needed. I am pleased to


    introduce MDWFP’s new effort to serve as steward of ALL of our state’s wildlife resources: the Mississippi


    Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS). This CWCS has been developed in compliance with


    a congressional mandate and will serve as Mississippi’s blueprint for fish and wildlife conservation statewide


    for the next half century. This is not a plan for our agency, but rather a broad set of conservation strategies for


    wildlife and fish species and their key habitats in greatest need of conservation. It was developed by a broad


    team of wildlife and fisheries professionals in the state in partnership with conservation organizations,


    agencies, individuals, academics and industries and with public input. It is a comprehensive, cost-effective,


    pro-active and non-regulatory approach to conserving entire communities, and we hope that it will be widely


    used by all Mississippians interested in protecting and restoring biodiversity in Mississippi. I want to thank all


    those that worked over the past three years to develop this important and dynamic strategy. It is my hope that


    this effort’s success will be measured by the cultivation of lasting conservation partnerships and the promise


    of fish and wildlife resources for future Mississippians.



    Sam Polles, Ph.D.


    Executive Director


    Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks



    MISSISSIPPI’S COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY


    TABLE OF CONTENTS



    Foreword



    Table of Contents



    Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................1



    Hurricane Katrina’s Impact ......................................................................................................11



    Chapter I. Introduction and Purpose ......................................................................................13



    Chapter II. Approach and Method ...........................................................................................17


    1. Organizational Structure and Committees


    2. Stakeholder and Public Input


    3. Coordination with Other Agencies


    4. Criteria for Selecting and Prioritizing Species of Greatest Conservation Need


    5. Mississippi’s Species of Greatest Conservation Need


    6. Classifying and Ranking Wildlife Habitats in Mississippi


    7. Identifying Threats and Conservation Actions for Species and their Habitats


    8. References for this Section



    Chapter III. Mississippi’s Ecological Framework - Ecoregions of Mississippi .......................61




    1. East Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion


    2. Mississippi River Alluvial Plain Ecoregion


    3. Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion


    4. Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecoregion


    5. References for this Section



    Chapter IV. Wildlife Habitats for Mississippi’s SGCN,


    Threats and Conservation Actions ..........................................................................................77



    1. Introduction


    2. A Guide to Using this Section


    3. Habitat Types and Subtypes



    1. Dry-Mesic Upland Forests/Woodlands. ....................................................87


    1.1 Dry Hardwood Forests


    1.2 Dry Longleaf Pine Forests


    1.3 Dry-Mesic Hardwood Forests


    1.4 Dry-Mesic Shortleaf/Loblolly Pine Forests





    MISSISSIPPI’S COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY


    2. Agriculture Fields, Hay and Pasture Lands,


    Old Fields, Prairies, Cedar Glades and Pine Plantations. .....................101


    2.1 Northeast Prairie/Cedar Glades


    2.2 Jackson Prairie


    2.3 Hay and Pasture Lands


    2.4 Pine Plantations


    2.5 Old Fields and Young Hardwoods (Shrublands)


    2.6 Agriculture Fields (Row Crops)



    3. Mesic Upland Forests ...............................................................................119


    3.1 Beech/Magnolia Forests


    3.2 Mesic Longleaf Pine Savanna/Forests


    3.3 Loess Hardwood Forests


    3.4 Lower Slope/High Terrace Hardwood Forests



    4. Bottomland Hardwood Forests ..............................................................133


    4.1 Bottomland Hardwood Forests



    5. Riverfront Forests/Herblands/Sandbars .................................................139


    5.1 Cottonwood/Black Willow/River Birch Woodlands


    5.2 Sandbars



    6. Wet Pine Savannas ..................................................................................147


    6.1 Wet Pine Savannas


    6.2 Slash Pine Flatwoods



    7. Spring Seeps .............................................................................................155


    7.1 Hardwood Seeps


    7.2 Pine Seeps



    8. Bogs ...........................................................................................................163


    8.1 Pitcher Plant Flat/Bogs



    9. Inland Freshwater Marshes .....................................................................167


    9.1 Freshwater Marshes



    10. Swamp Forests ........................................................................................171


    10.1 Bald Cypress/Gum Swamp Forests


    10.2 Small Stream Swamp Forests



    11. Lacustrine (Lentic) Communities .........................................................179


    11.1 Oxbow Lakes


    11.2 Reservoirs


    11.3 Artificial Ponds


    11.4 Ephemeral (Temporary) Ponds


    11.5 Beaver Ponds



    MISSISSIPPI’S COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY


    12. Streams (Lotic Communities) ................................................................193



    12.1 Mississippi River


    12.2 Northeast Hills , Tennessee River Drainage


    12.3 Tombigbee Drainage


    12.4 Lower Mississippi North Drainage (LMND) Hatchie And Wolf Systems


    12.5 Upper Coastal Plain, Yazoo Drainage


    12.6 Big Black River Drainage


    12.7 Upper Coastal Plain, Pearl River Drainage


    12.8 Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP)


    12.9 Lower Coastal Plain, Pearl Drainage


    12.10 Pascagoula Drainage


    12.11 Coastal Rivers Drainage


    12.12 Lake Ponchartrain Drainage


    12.13 Lower Mississippi South Drainage



    13. Upland Maritime and Estuarine Fringe .................................................233


    13.1 Barrier Island Uplands


    13.2 Man-Made Beaches


    13.3 Barrier Island Wetlands


    13.4 Mainland Beaches


    13.5 Barrier Island Beaches


    13.6 Shell Middens and Estuarine Shrublands


    13.7 Maritime Woodlands



    14. Estuary and Mississippi Sound


    (Inside or Associated with Barrier Islands). ...........................................253


    14.1 Estuarine Bays, Lakes and Tidal Streams


    14.2 Mississippi Sound


    14.3 Estuarine Marshes


    14.4 Barrier Island Passes


    14.5 Salt Pannes


    14.6 Seagrass Beds


    14.7 Mollusk Reefs



    15. Marine Habitats (Outside Barrier Islands) ...........................................275


    15.1 Marine Habitats (Smooth Bottoms)


    15.2 Hard Bottoms and Oceanic Reefs


    15.3 Artificial Reefs



    16. Urban and Suburban Lands .....................................................................283


    16.1 Urban And Suburban Lands


    16.2 Buildings, Bridges, Overpasses, Etc.



    17. Rock Outcrops and Caves ......................................................................289


    17.1 Rock Outcrops


    17.2 Caves



    4. References for this Section



    MISSISSIPPI’S COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY


    Chapter V. Status and Trend Monitoring and Survey and Research Needs ...................303



    Chapter VI. Review and Revision of Mississippi’s CWCS ...................................................313



    Glossary ....................................................................................................................................315



    Supporting References ...........................................................................................................319



    Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................329



    Appendices



    I. IAFWA Guiding Principles ............................................................................335



    II. CWCS Committees .......................................................................................339



    III. Copy of Survey, Evaluation of Species of Greatest


    Conservation Need in Mississippi ............................................................347



    IV. Presentations and Meetings Regarding Mississippi’s CWCS .....................353



    V. Mississippi’s CWCS Promotional Brochure ................................................357



    VI. Articles about Mississippi’s CWCS ...............................................................361



    VII. Wildlife Habitat Types and Subtypes by Ecoregion ...................................371



    VIII. Mississippi Species of Greatest Conservation Need by Ecoregion ............375



    IX. Pelagic and Migratory Bird Species of Concern Included as Groups in


    Mississippi’s Wildlife Habitat Subtypes ..................................................381



    X. Value of Habitats to SGCN ...........................................................................383



    XI. Crosswalk of CWCS Habitat Types and Subtypes with


    Ecological Community Types .................................................................391



    XII. Interpreting NatureServe Conservation Status Ranks ..............................395



    XIII. Survey and Research Needs .........................................................................399








    MISSISSIPPI’S COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY




    MISSISSIPPI’S COMPREHENSIVE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY


    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



    Introduction


    Mississippi's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) is part of a national collaborative


    effort among natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, corporations and private landowners


    to address habitat needs of declining wildlife species. These strategies mark the first time in U.S. history


    that state wildlife agencies and the broader conservation community have cooperated to design a


    conservation blueprint for all wildlife species.



    Since the early 1990s, the 3,000-member nationwide Teaming


    with Wildlife Coalition has worked to secure funding for state


    fish and wildlife agencies to take preventative actions, keeping


    rare species from becoming endangered and common species


    abundant. In 2001, Congress responded to this need by


    creating the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program and from


    2001 - 2005, over $300 million has been allocated to state


    wildlife agencies.



    In order to make the best use of the State Wildlife Grants


    (SWG) program, Congress charged each state and territory


    with developing a CWCS. Over the past three years, the


    Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks


    (MDWFP) has coordinated this effort on behalf of the state of


    Mississippi to meet congressional requirements and to


    provide a "conservation blueprint" for agencies, organizations,


    industries, private landowners and academics across the state to advance sound management of all of our


    fish and wildlife resources in the future. The overarching goal of this planning effort is to provide a


    guide to effective and efficient long-term conservation of Mississippi's biological diversity.



    This document represents the summary of a conservation planning effort that officially began in


    response to the congressional mandate, but which actually builds upon many years of research and data


    accumulated by the MDWFP staff through the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) and


    many other organizations, agencies and individuals. To meet our overarching goal and to fulfill


    congressional requirements, we enlisted the help of several individuals, organizations, agencies and


    academia. Two CWCS Coordinators, Charles Knight and Elizabeth Barber, organized all aspects of the


    development of this strategy in conjunction with a Technical Committee composed of MDWFP


    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1


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