Southern Regional Office - Continued

The Southern Regional Office (SRO), located in Ridgeland, MS was established in 1990 to protect and restore wetlands and other wildlife habitat in the southeastern United States. Today, the SRO carries out conservation programs in 13 southern states that include some of the most important wintering habitat on the continent. More than one million acres of waterfowl habitat has been conserved from Oklahoma south to New Mexico, east to Florida, and north to Virginia.

Two-thirds of North America's waterfowl spend the winter in DU's Southern Region. Ducks and geese depend on wintering habitat in southern latitudes to feed, rest, and build vital energy reserves. Many species form breeding pair-bonds before beginning their arduous journeys to northern breeding areas. Research has shown that the quality of habitat on the wintering grounds affects winter survival rates and the condition of birds returning north. Better wintering habitat may lead to a more productive nesting season and more ducks flying south again in the fall.

Ducks Unlimited approaches wetland and waterfowl conservation in the Southern Region on four fronts:

•  Protecting what is left. Through conservation easements and other tools, DU is protecting important wildlife areas forever.

•  Restoring historic habitat by restoring wetlands that have been drained, enhancing wetlands that have been degraded, and replanting bottomland hardwood forests in areas that have been cleared.

•  Working with farmers and landowners to make their land more attractive to wildlife. Agriculture and wildlife can be compatible. By flooding their fields in winter, landowners are creating excellent wildlife habitat and benefiting their farming operations at the same time.

•  Working hand in hand with state and federal partners to impact the most important areas and to get the most out of every conservation dollar.

DU is dedicated to reversing the trends of wetland habitat losses, restoring and protecting habitats, educating conservation values, and making the Southern Region a better place for breeding, migrating and wintering waterfowl.