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National Wildlife Refuge

Box 831 Hwy 446
Boyle, MS   38730
E-mail: FW4RWNorthMSRefuges@fws.gov
Phone Number: 662-742-9331
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Dahomey NWR's extensive bottomland forest is home to many neotropical migrants, such as this hermit thrush.
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Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge

Dahomey NWR is located 15 miles south west of Cleveland, Mississippi. It was established in 1990 when the Nature Conservancy (TNC) purchased 9,269 and leased the land back to the Service for management. In 1993, the Service completed acquisition of the TNC lands. One additional 162 acre tract was purchased by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and turned over to the Service in 1991. A 260 acre 16th section tract is leased from the West Bolivar School Board bringing the total land base to 9,691 acres. The refuge is the largest remaining tract of bottomland hardwood-forested wetlands in the northwest portion of Mississippi.

Getting There . . .
From Cleveland, go south on HWY 61 and turn west on HWY 446 at Boyle. Refuge properties are signed and lie north and south of HWY 446 about 15 miles west of Boyle. From Rosedale, head south on HWY 1 through Beulah. Five and one half miles south of Beulah, turn east on HWY 446. Refuge properties start 2.5 miles east of HWY 1, are signed and lie north and south of HWY 446. The refuge headquarters is located on the north side of HWY 446.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The refuge consists of 1,050 acres of agricultural lands, 8,100 acres of bottomland hardwood forested wetlands, 500 acres in various stages of reforestation, and 50 acres for roads and administrative purposes.

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During the 40-year period prior to Service ownership, Dahomey's hardwood forest was subject to intensive timber harvesting. The woodlands were last cut in the late 1960's. However, it was never cleared, but instead allowed to naturally regenerate. Dahomey's forest land is a relic of a habitat type that was once dominant throughout the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV).

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Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Stream channelization and levee construction activities within the vicinity of Dahomey have reduced historical flooding regimes to the point that a significant portion of the habitat within Dahomey is no longer subject to seasonal flooding. Therefore, one of the objectives is to restore and manage seasonal hydro-periods within its wetland habitat.

An active migratory waterfowl program is ongoing at Dahomey. The Green Tree Resenoir, an area of forested wetlands flooded during the dormant seasons two years out of three, is on the south portion of the refuge. Water management areas also include an 85 acre agricultural field that was converted into four (4) moist soil impoundments and two moist soil units which provide 222 acres of seasonal wetland habitat that was created with the help of Ducks Unlimited. Additionally, internal access roads are mowed in the late fall and together with field borders are maintained for wild turkey "dusting and bugging" areas. Additionally, selected interior roads and rights-of-way are planted in green cover crops for deer.