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Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Tennessee

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Lake/Obion countiesDyer Co.Lauderdale Co.Tipton Co.Shelby Co.

Note: The entire Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Tennessee has been designated an IBA. These lands form a cohesive network of habitats and north-south corridor essential for the successful migration, breeding, and wintering for many species. Documentation on this area is contained in the six counties within this physiographic province in Tennessee. Virtually every IBA criteria is contained within this province. Click on a county for this documentation.

Location:  All land in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Tennessee along the Mississippi River from the Tennessee-Kentucky state line south to the Tennessee-Mississippi state line, to include the Reelfoot Lake Complex, White Lake Refuge, Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge, Sunk Lake State Natural Area,  John Tully Wildlife Management Area, Lauderdale Lake Waterfowl Management Area, Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, Meeman-Shelby Forest Wildlife Management Area, Eagle Lake Refuge, and the Ensley's Bottoms Complex, and all other public and private lands in between, in the counties of (north to south) Lake, Obion, Dyer, Lauderdale, Tipton, and Shelby, Tennessee.
Physiographic Province:  PIF 05 (Mississippi Alluvial Valley); BCR 26 (Mississippi Alluvial Valley)
Tennessee IBA Site Map - MAV.bmp (80006 bytes)

Description:  Within Tennessee, all of Lake County and parts of Dyer, Lauderdale, Obion, Tipton, and Shelby counties compose the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. These lands form a cohesive network of habitats and north-south corridor essential for the successful migration, breeding, and wintering for many species. The Mississippi River traverses the western border on all the counties except Obion for a distance of 167.3 river miles (882.5 - 715.2), and a separate loop along the north border of Lake County of 7.8 river miles (904.8 - 897.0). See separate counties for documentation. A Least Tern survey has been conducted in the Mississippi River since 1985. See Least Tern Surveys in the Mississippi River for a summary and each county for a county breakdown--Lake County and Obion County, Dyer County, Lauderdale County, Tipton County, and Shelby County.

Documentation outside of public areas or numbers combined from public and private sites within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Tennessee:

Point Counts: The table below summaries the top 20 species on point counts in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley by relative abundance of individuals in the period 1993-2000. Of the top 20 species, 10 species (50%) were neotropical.

Top 20 Species On Counts in MAV By Relative
Abundance of Individuals 1993-2000


Northern Cardinal934
Carolina Wren702
Eastern Titmouse667
Indigo Bunting*614
Acadian Flycatcher*580
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher*531
Red-winged Blackbird521
Red-bellied Woodpecker462
Carolina Chickadee391
American Crow349
White-eyed Vireo*339
Yellow-bellied Cuckoo*334
Brown-headed Cowbird322
Eastern Wood-Pewee*301
Northern Parula*289
Great Blue Heron242
Prairie Warbler*223
Wood Thrush*205
Red-eyed Vireo*160
Downy Woodpecker159
* = neotropical 

        American Wigeon - April 6, 2003 (650+) Highway 79.
   Within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Tennessee:
        August 8, 2004 (8,909 shorebirds), making this one of the largest individual one-day counts yet recorded in the state. A total of 7,000 of these were at Ensley Bottoms.
    Memphis to Reelfoot Lake, April 6-7, 2002 (11 species shorebirds) of note the following:
        American Golden-Plover--16 locations (948), high number 494.
        Greater Yellowlegs--21 locations (317), high number 80.
        Lesser Yellowlegs--13 locations (198), high number 71.
        Pectoral Sandpiper--14 locations (1,379), high number 279.
        Wilson's Snipe--3 locations (126), high number 103.
    Along the Mississippi River from Memphis to Reelfoot Lake area:
         August 17, 2002, five species of terns of 723 individuals--Caspian Tern (6), Common Tern (2), Forster's Tern (2), Least Tern (109), and Black Tern (604).

Click on the name of the county or individual site.

Lake County and Obion County  Dyer CountyLauderdale County
Reelfoot Lake ComplexIsland No. 18 Towhead Dikes - Miss. RiverChickasaw NWR
 Island No. 21 - Miss. RiverLauderdale Refuge
 White Lake RefugeLower Hatchie NWR
  Nebraska Point Dikes - Miss. River
Tipton CountyShelby County
Randolph Bar - Miss. RiverDensford Bar - Miss. River
Lower Hatchie NWREagle Lake Refuge
 Ensley Bottoms Complex
 Meeman-Shelby Forest SP...


Click on the name of the county.


Approved as an IBA site:  February 2006--Yes 7  No 0

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