Short-term Research Projects

Annual Distribution of Alligator Gar and habitat characteristics within St Catherine Creek NWR: Alligator gar are currently thriving at St. Catherine Creek NWR.  The objective of this project is to determine the important factors that support the healthy population of Alligator gar.  

Shorebird Habitat Use: This project is a larger scale project through the Lower Mississippi River and Gulf Coast, to determine shorebird habitat use and seasonal distribution. 

Painted Bunting Occurrence: Painted Buntings are still fairly common, but their populations have been dropping for several decades.  St. Catherine Creek NWR has been recognized as an important sight for painted buntings most likely due to the early succession habitat available.  As a result, researchers are using St. Catherine Creek NWR as a trapping sight for painted buntings in order to investigate and gain better knowledge of their migration patterns. 

Long-term Monitoring 

Bat Occurrence: Bats are being increasingly recognized as another component of the forest ecosystem.  However, many species are declining.  Continuing to monitor bat occurrence and habitat use will guide future forest management decisions. 

Waterbird Use of Impoundments: Managing habitat for waterbirds within the impoundments is a key management activity.  It is important to determine the best techniques for creating quality habitat.  This can be done by documenting management activities and monitoring the plant and wildlife response.  Waterbird surveys are conducted throughout the year to determine these parameters.  

Forest Songbird Occurrence: Forest songbirds utilize the forest mixed hardwood and bottomland forests of the refuge, and as a result are good indicators of the forest health.  Songbird occurrence will be one of the key parameters measuring the success of any future forest management activities such as timber thinning.