Resource Management

His Her Wood Ducks Hdr Pic 512W

His and Her Wood Ducks

Choctaw was established as a protected wintering area for waterfowl and for wood duck production. Although the primary objective is waterfowl management, many other wildlife species benefit from the diversity of habitats. Choctaw refuge has seven small moist soil impoundments which are drained in the spring or summer so that waterfowl food plants can grow. In the fall they are flooded so that the food is readily available for waterfowl. Planted crops such as millet and winter wheat add to the “dinner table.” A major objective of the refuge is to provide for increased production of wood ducks. Over 400 artificial wood duck nesting boxes have been placed in the refuge’s wetlands to supplement natural cavities. Approximately 2500 wood ducks are hatched in these boxes each year. Management on the refuge’s approximately 2,000 acres of forested bottomlands includes selective timber harvesting to open up the canopy and allow sunlight to reach the forest floor. This thinning stimulates new herbaceous growth and hardwood reproduction and improves wildlife habitat by increasing browse plants and mast yields.