Morgan Brake National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1977, encompasses 7,383 acres in west central Mississippi, on the extreme eastern edge of the Mississippi/Yazoo River Alluvial Plain and the loess hills in Holmes County. The refuge was originally established to protect hardwood bottomlands "...for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds." Land acquisition began in September 1977 with the purchase of 298 acres. Additional bottomland hardwood forest acquisitions in 1979 (1,033 acres) and 1987 (1,187 acres) expanded the refuge. In 1987, acquisition goals were expanded to include a complex of habitat types, including moist-soil areas, croplands and a variety of open water sloughs and streams. In 1992, the adjacent 3,290 acre John Hancock tract and several smaller tracts were purchased. The acquisition of the 80 acre Boyd tract in 1996 brought the refuge acreage total to 7,381 acres.