US Army Corps of Engineers
Memphis District

Nature

Bottomland hardwoods which produce mast crops, along with seasonally flooded bald cypress (Taxodium distichum ), Tupelo gum or water Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) make up much of the forest adjacent to the Grand Prairie's rivers, creeks and bayous. These woodlands follow the White River along the eastern boundary of the Grand Prairie weaving wetlands with marginal moist soil areas, into a rich natural complex. This ecological structure also comprises a significant portion of the Bayou Meto drainage south of Humphrey.

Water benefits all fish and wildlife

For birdwatchers, residents often include the Mississippi kite, bald eagle, American kestrel and several species of egrets. Other birds including the northern bobwhite, wild turkey and pileated woodpecker are seen year round along the White River.

Deer, bobcat and river otter are common bottomland occupants, but alligators, snapping turtles, timber rattlesnakes and even armadillos, can also to be found.

Natural foods in addition to seasonally flooded rice and soybean fields along the drainage fringes, annually provide food for these species plus hundreds of thousands of migrating waterfowl. Commercial rice production replaced grassland and scattered seasonal wetlands, and since the early-1900s significantly expanded available habitat for larger species of waterfowl.

Researchers at Montana State University and Ducks Unlimited have rediscovered the importance of grassland habitat on the breeding grounds. And waterfowl scientists have long recognized the critical link between grasslands and insects, especially invertebrates, because of their critical role in the food chain of waterbirds.