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Science

Science-Billiotx512The marshes of the East Cove Unit are being managed to preserve the delicate balance between salt and fresh water. Water control structures located along a 19 mile levee on Calcasieu Lake are managed in an effort to provide the best habitat for the wildlife that live there.

The Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Science Program coordinates and/or conducts biological surveys, research projects, habitat restoration and creation projects , invasive species control, migratory bird banding, weather data collection, oil and gas exploration and drilling, and special use permitting.

 

Feral Hog Control: The SW LA National Wildlife Refuges contract with US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services to control/manage feral hogs through year round ground trapping and shooting, and scheduled aerial shooting efforts. We have been working together in this effort since 2007.
 
Cameron Prairie Marsh Creation and Restoration projects: Through partnering with the US Corps of
Engineers, 100 acres of new marsh have created in East Cove unit. Refuge staff is working with Federal, State, and private industry partners to create an additional 1000 acres of emergent marsh in this area as well. Additionally, Refuge staff is working with nearby private land owners to secure funding for  cooperative control of salinities, creating terraces, and planting emergent vegetation within the Cameron Creole watershed.
 
Invasive Plants: The US Fish and Wildlife Service partners with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to control invasive species in roadside ditches and wetlands. Approved herbicides are used to control water hyacinth, giant salvinia, Cuban bulrush, and Peruvian water grass.
 
Biological Surveys: Biological surveys conducted on the refuge include tracking wading bird rookeries, wintering waterfowl ground surveys, breeding bird surveys, Christmas bird counts, eagle surveys, and mid-winter goose surveys.
 
Avian Banding: Cameron Prairie NWR staff assists Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists with banding black-bellied whistling ducks and mottled ducks when needed. Staff traps and bands mourning doves each summer July- August as part of an ongoing state survey effort.
 
Gulf Coast Joint Venture: Refuge staff participates in mottled duck monitoring and research efforts in support of the Gulf Coast Joint Venture.
 
Research: Research projects on red wolf DNA, white-tailed deer, pollinators, yellow rails, clapper rails, and many other species have been or are currently being conducted by several federal, state and university partners on Cameron Prairie NWR. Refuge staff will review and consider permitting new research proposals that can benefit our mission of protecting wildlife and refuge habitat into the future.
 
Rainfall: Cameron Prairie NWR serves as a National Weather Service rainfall gauge site; we provide daily rainfall data to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
 
Oil and Gas: In the past several oil and gas wells have been drilled on the refuge. All have been abandoned but not all fully restored; several of the sites are being targeted for restoration work. Refuge staff insures that mineral owners have access to their property and work closely with the LA Department of Conservation on any new drilling request. Refuge biologists also monitor and permit the activities of four major pipeline right of ways that cross National Wildlife Refuge property.
Page Photo Credits — Black Bellied Whistling Duck Banding by Diane Borden-Billiot
Last Updated: Jun 30, 2016
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