Ducks Unlimited and its partners established and enhanced moist-soil vegetation and hot-crop rotation areas within Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, as well as enhancing observation ponds. DU purchased and installed water-control structures and a new pump for the ponds, which provide Wheeler NWR visitors an opportunity to view a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl. This project impacted a total of 1,615 acres.
Considered the easternmost national wildlife refuge in the Mississippi Flyway, the 35,000-acre Wheeler NWR attracts thousands of wintering waterfowl each year and supports the southernmost—and Alabama's only—significant concentration of wintering Southern James Bay Canada geese. It also serves as winter habitat for Alabama's largest duck population.
The refuge is comprised of a great diversity of habitat types such as bottomland hardwoods, wetlands, pine uplands, agricultural fields and backwater embayments. These habitats provide excellent feeding, loafing and roosting sites for waterfowl, as well as for migrating songbirds.
Wheeler NWR also provides a much-needed oasis for 650,000 annual visitors to one of the fastest-growing regions in the state. The refuge offers a variety of recreational opportunities including wildlife observation, fishing, hunting, hiking, boating and educational interpretive trails.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ducks Unlimited