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Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Tennessee
Lauderdale County

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MAVLake/Obion countiesDyer Co.Tipton Co.Shelby Co.

Location:  Lauderdale County is bordered to the north by Dyer County, to the east by Crockett and Haywood counties, to the south by Tipton County, and to the west by Mississippi County, Arkansas. Within the county, the Mississippi River travels 46.7 river miles (river miles 820.0 - 773.3).
Physiographic Area:  PIF 05 (Mississippi Alluvial Valley); BCR 26 (Mississippi Alluvial Valley)

Description:  The MAV in Lauderdale County from the Dyer County line angles southwest up to around a 12-mile path that narrows to a tip at the Tipton County line at the mouth of the Hatchie River. Public wildlife lands within the MAV in Lauderdale County total around 51,495 acres--Chickasaw Wildlife Management Area (25,006), Cold Creek Refuge (2,018),  John Tully Wildlife Management Area (12,493), Lauderdale Refuge (657), Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge (9,451), and Sunk Lake State Natural Area (1,870). The Lauderdale Refuge lies within the East Gulf Coast Plain, but is included with the MAV because of its close proximity to it. There are no sizeable towns within the MAV in Lauderdale County. Ripley is the county seat.

Ornithological Importance:  A significant portion of the MAV in Lauderdale County is under wildlife management. Included here are the federally and Tennessee endangered Least Tern with one major nesting colony--Nebraska Point Dikes (see Lauderdale County summary below and Least Tern Surveys in the Mississippi River for a state-wide summary); raptors including the In Need of Management in Tennessee Mississippi Kite; bottomland species among them the In Need of Management in Tennessee Cerulean Warbler; one of the largest blocks of bottomland hardwood forest in Tennessee; wading birds by the hundreds; shorebirds by the hundreds; waterfowl by the tens of thousands; and neotropical migrants and wintering species. Documentation is contained in Chickasaw NWR, Lauderdale Refuge, Lower Hatchie NWR,  the Least Tern sites, and the notes below.

Least Tern Survey in Mississippi River
Along Lauderdale County Border 2001-2005


Number birds
Lauderdale County
side of river

Number birds
side of river
by Lauderdale County

Total Birds
Lauderdale County


Notable numbers of species and individuals within the county, not associated with a described site include:
    American White Pelican--July 4, 2004 (53).
    Shorebird numbers--August 21, 2005 (18 species).
    Black-necked Stilt--July 4, 2004 (52).
    Halls: This site is included in the MAV though just outside of it in the East Gulf Coast Plain, as it is affected by it and is an important draw for species especially American Golden Plover and Lapland Longspur.
    American Golden Plover--April 5, 2003 (1,500-2,000).
    Lapland Longspur--January 1, 2004 (1,000).

Point Counts: Thirty-seven point counts were conducted in 1997, 40 in 1998, and 31 in 1999 and 2000. In 139 counts over 4 years, 2,951 birds of 59 species were observed. The table below summaries the top 20 species on point counts at the John Tully Wildlife Management Area by relative abundance of individuals in the period 1997-2000. Of the top 20 species, 10 species (50%) were neotropical.

Top 20 Species On Counts at John Tully WMA
By Relative Abundance of Individuals 1997-2000


Northern Cardinal384
Indigo Bunting*245
Tufted Titmouse221
Acadian Flycatcher*176
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher*174
Carolina Wren143
White-eyed Vireo*124
Brown-headed Cowbird116
American Crow111
Red-bellied Woodpecker102
Yellow-billed Cuckoo*97
Northern Parula*86
Great Blue Heron72
Yellow-breasted Chat*61
Eastern Wood-Pewee*69
Red-winged Blackbird54
Carolina Chickadee51
Red-eyed Vireo*49
Ruby-throated Hummingbird*48
Fish Crow41
* = neotropical 


Lauderdale County
Chickasaw NWR
Lauderdale Refuge
Lower Hatchie NWR
Nebraska Point Dikes - Miss. River

Approved under the umbrella IBA site Mississippi Alluvial Valley:
  February 2006--Yes 7  No 0

This page was last updated on 02/18/06.