Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Kaminski, Richard M.

Committee Member

Davis, J. Brian

Committee Member

Nelms, Kevin D.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) implemented the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI) in summer 2010 to provide wetlands for waterbirds inland from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. To evaluate MBHI and associated wetland management practices, I estimated seed and waterbird densities in MBHI and non-managed wetlands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) of Mississippi and Louisiana. Although not statistically different, wetlands enrolled in MBHI contained 1.26 and 1.53 times more seed biomass and seeds consumed by waterfowl than non-managed wetlands, respectively. I also detected 3 times more dabbling ducks and all ducks combined on MBHI wetlands. When I combined density data for all waterbird species, MBHI wetlands contained more than 2 times as many birds than control wetlands. Management via MBHI increased waterbird and potential food abundances, suggesting NRCS consider sustaining MBHI and provide financial incentives to landowners for management of wetlands in the MAV and United States.