D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge


D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge
D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refugee
IUCN Category IV (Habitat/Species Management Area)
Map showing the location of D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refugee
Map showing the location of D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refugee
Map of the United States
Location Ouachita and Union Parish, Louisiana
Nearest city West Monroe, Louisiana
Coordinates 32°36′30″N 92°13′00″W / 32.60833°N 92.2166667°W / 32.60833; -92.2166667Coordinates: 32°36′30″N 92°13′00″W / 32.60833°N 92.2166667°W / 32.60833; -92.2166667
Established 1986
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge is located north of West Monroe, Louisiana, in Ouachita and Union Parishes on either side of Bayou D'Arbonne near its confluence with the Ouachita River. It lies on the western edge of the Mississippi Alluvial valley. It was established in 1975 to protect bottomland hardwoods and provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl. No camping is provided on the refuge; however, camping opportunities exists at the nearby Lake D'Arbonne State Park.[1]


Wildlife and habitat

The refuge provides habitat for alligators, bald eagles, the little known Rafinesque's big-eared bat and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The refuge is bisected by 13 miles of Bayou D'Arbonne, a stream in the Louisiana Natural and Scenic Rivers System, and is crisscrossed by numerous creeks, sloughs and oxbow lakes. Cypress swamps, bottomland hardwood and upland forests complete the landscape that is habitat for a diverse group of plants and animals. D'Arbonne NWR also has the national record mayhaw tree, a wetland species with fruit that makes delicious jelly. D'Arbonne is one of four refuges managed in the North Louisiana Refuges Complex.

In years of normal or above rainfall, the refuge's bottomland hardwood forest is a very important overflow area for the Ouachita River basin. High water levels, which usually occur between January and May, can flood up to 87% of the refuge. The wetland forests not only provide habitat to wetland dependent wildlife, but they also reduce damage from flooding in developed areas, they filter silt and other particles from the water, they help neutralize pollutants in the water, and they provide recharge areas for aquifers (natural underground water storage areas).

See also

References


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