U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Panther Swamp
National Wildlife Refuge


12595 MS HWY 149
Yazoo City, MS   39194
E-mail: yazoo@fws.gov
Phone Number: 662-836-3004 office
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/panther_swamp/
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  Overview
Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Welcome to Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge ... one of seven refuges in the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Established in 1978, Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 38,697 acres. Included in those acres is one of the largest blocks (21,000 acres) of bottomland forest in the lower Mississippi River alluvial floodplain. The upland areas or ridges often crest at no more than one foot above swamp areas, and contain nuttall, willow and water oaks and other species while overcup oak, bitter pecan and ash dominate the transition zone from swamp to upland. Additional habitat types consist of reforested and agricultural areas.

In addition to providing resting and feeding areas for over 100,000 wintering waterfowl annually, the refuge also provides habitat for 200 species of neotropical migratory songbirds. Resident species making their home among the woodlands, sloughs, and reforested areas include the American alligator, white-tail deer, otter, swamp rabbit, wild turkey, squirrel, and other various small fur-bearers such as mink and raccoon.


Getting There . . .
Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is located ten miles southwest of Yazoo City, MS. The new office location is 12595 Mississippi Highway 149, Yazoo City, MS. From Yazoo City travel west on Highway 149, cross the Yazoo River and continue approximately 9 miles, the office will be on the left. If you reach the intersection of Highway 149 and Highway 16, you have gone to far, turn around and go back a quarter mile.


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Wildlife and Habitat

When compared with the six other refuges in the Complex, Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge lies at the lowest elevation (75 to 100 feet mean sea level) in the heavy clay "gumbo" soils of the south Delta. As a result, habitat management is challenged by regular flood events, and wet conditions throughout most of the year. Habitat management programs are implemented to meet conservation objectives for migratory and resident wildlife, as well as native plant communities. Forest management includes selective harvesting to ensure a healthy, viable forest, and reforestation on marginally productive croplands with indigenous tree species. Refuge croplands are managed to provide diverse habitat types and "hot" foods for migratory waterfowl.

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History
Although limited archaeological evidence exists about the earliest inhabitants of the Lower Mississippi Delta, early Native Americans probably hunted, fished, and even farmed much of the area now included in the boundaries of Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Fishing
Hunting
Photography
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
The refuge conducts an ongoing reforestation program to replace trees cut down for row crop agriculture prior to the Service's ownership of the land. Selected timber harvest is used as a timber stand improvement tool. Beaver damage to hardwoods is a serious problem that requires a great deal of staff time to manage. Waterfowl surveys are conducted each year. Cooperative farming is used extensively as a means of providing winter food for migrating waterfowl, non-game birds and resident species. Cooperative research studies are regularly supported with area universities. There is also a major hunt management program, requiring extensive law enforcement.