What We Do

Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

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is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species. 

Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge was established for the protection and recovery of it's namesake, the Mississippi sandhill crane, and the restoration of the endangered wet pine savanna habitat. By restoring the wet pine savanna, the refuge provides ideal habitat for the cranes as well as many other species native to the Gulf Coast region. By using habitat management tools, such as prescribed burns, tracking and monitoring, and reintroduction, the refuge works to preserve and protect this unique natural resource for present and future generations.

Management and Conservation

The refuge's objectives include: 

  • to provide protection and management for the endangered Mississippi sandhill crane, by restoring, improving, and maintaining nesting, feeding, and roosting habitat within the refuge.
  • To protect and conserve unique savanna habitat of south Mississippi.
  • To provide opportunities for environmental education and interpretation and wildlife-dependent recreation to refuge visitors.

The Mississippi Sandhill Crane Recovery Plan was originally written in 1976, and amended in 1979 and 1984; the current approved version is dated September 6, 1991. It states: “The recovery objective is to maintain a genetically viable, stable, self-sustaining, free-living Mississippi sandhill crane population.”

Refuges deploy a host of scientifically sound management tools to address biological challenges. These tools span active water management to wilderness character monitoring, all aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach to benefit both wildlife and people.  At this field station our conservation tool box includes:

  • Planning – Comprehensive Conservation Plan
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Conservation Easements
  • Education & Outreach
  • Fire Management
  • Invasive Species
  • Inventory and Monitoring
  • Law Enforcement
  • Species Research