A targeted campaign addressing wildlife habitat management and predator control is being conducted in February by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

The initiative is being called Habitat and Predator Management Month, and it began Wednesday.

“Late winter is a great time to implement many different wildlife management practices,” said Adam Butler, the MDWFP’s Wild Turkey Program coordinator. “It’s the down time between deer and turkey seasons, so disturbance is not as big of an issue, and there are many things that can be done.” 

As a way to encourage active management during this timeframe, the MDWFP and partner organizations are hoping to engage and inform the state’s hunters, landowners, and conservationists and present practices that can bolster wildlife populations.

Through this initiative, the MDWFP hopes to arm the state’s sportsmen and women with the knowledge necessary to continue world-class hunting in the Magnolia State through effective habitat and predation management.

“The MDWFP has an 80-plus year history of conservation success,” Butler said. “We have learned a lot during that time, but we have often not done the best job at sharing what we know with the public. We hope to begin to change that beginning this month.

“Our vision is to create a united effort between hunters, landowners, the MDWFP and its partner organizations on the importance of active wildlife management.  It’s the only way we’ll produce abundant numbers of the wildlife species we all treasure.”

Coyotes, bobcats and raccoons are major predators of adult turkeys, nests and poults. Skunks, snakes, feral housecats, and mink also make an impact.

The spread of wild hogs is impacting wildlife management on many levels, too, including competing with many native species. 

During February, the MDWFP plans daily features on its home page at mdwfp.com and on its Facebook page (facebook.com.mdwfp) and on Twitter at twitter.com/mdwfponline