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National Wildlife Research Center

The National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) is the research unit of the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services program. Scientists and support staff are dedicated to finding solutions to challenging wildlife damage management problems related to agriculture, natural resources, property, and human health and safety.

Human-wildlife conflicts, wildlife damage, nuisance and pest animals, wildlife disease, invasive species, overabundant wildlife, and overall ecosystem health are just some of the topics studied by researchers at the National Wildlife Research Center.

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Cormorant Impacts to Catfish

The Mississippi Delta (Delta) in northwest Mississippi is 200 miles long and 87 miles across at its widest point. It encompasses about 4.5 million acres of floodplains of the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. It’s home to blues music, bald cypress trees, fried okra, and catfish farms.

 Most of the commercial catfish production in the United States occurs in the Delta. Catfish aquaculture acreage in the area peaked in the early 2000s, with approximately 134,000 acres of water in production. Since then, aquaculture has decreased by more than 70 percent, with approximately 36,000 acres remaining today.

 Today, producers want to know if more double-crested cormorants are using fewer acres, whether cormorants are foraging in catfish farms more than natural waterbodies, and how management has impacted cormorant depredation.

 To find out, NWRC’s Mississippi field station researchers partnered with Wildlife Services-Mississippi Operations, Mississippi State University, and the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff.

Learn more about cormorant impacts to catfish
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