Reversing Habitat Losses in Duck Country
By Dustin Lynch/TRCP
Photo by Sergei Yeliseev/flickr
Arkansas’ famed Delta region has historically been home to the largest continuous system of wetlands in North America and now serves as critical seasonal habitat within the Mississippi Flyway. Hunters kill more mallards in Arkansas than in any other state, and only Louisiana has a greater overall annual waterfowl harvest. What’s more, the Delta’s lowland rivers and lakes draw anglers in pursuit of bass, crappie, and catfish.
Hunting and fishing are woven into the fabric of life in this region, and money generated by sportsmen and women is crucial to the well-being of wildlife populations throughout the state. But the Delta also has a long agricultural history that has resulted in the serious degradation of some of its best habitat, requiring the committed work of conservationists to restore its waterways and wetlands, thus preserving the wealth of hunting and fishing opportunities found in the region.
Last year saw the completion of a five-year effort to support the area’s biodiversity, improve wildlife habitat, enhance water quality, and encourage the restoration of native vegetation. Now, this project could offer a model for similarly degraded waterways and wetlands throughout the region and across the country.