Ducks Unlimited and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recently completed a project to improve waterfowl habitat on Bayou Pierre Wildlife Management Area (WMA), 20 miles south of Shreveport.

“This area now has the potential to be our flagship moist-soil habitat unit thanks to the management capabilities this project has given us. We’re very pleased with how it has turned out,” said Paul Link, LDWF North American Waterfowl Management Plan coordinator.

The original bottomland hardwood forest that covered what is now Bayou Pierre WMA was cleared and drained in an attempt to convert the area to farming during the mid-1900s. Following several failed farming attempts due to poor drainage and frequent annual flooding, the 2,200-acre area was deeded to LDWF in 1992.

DU collaborated with LDWF to restore functional hydrology and install dependable water-management infrastructure needed for proper habitat manipulation on approximately 275 acres of critical wetland habitat. The improved conditions on Bayou Pierre will ensure greater-quality wetlands capable of supporting thousands of ducks and other wetland-dependent wildlife.

“Partnering with state agencies to provide quality waterfowl habitat on public lands is a critical part of DU’s mission to provide sufficient habitat for waterfowl across North America,” said Bob Dew, DU manager of conservation programs. “Public lands provide critical resources for these birds, and Louisiana is particularly important for migrating and wintering waterfowl.”

Funding for the Bayou Pierre project came from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and Shell Oil Company.

“DU constantly seeks ways to meet the needs of waterfowl, and partnering on the state and federal levels has proven to be an efficient way to set the table for migratory birds,” Dew said.

Logo courtesy Ducks Unlimited

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