‘Let nature run its course.’ Wildlife in the South Delta begins to recover as flood waters recede

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The 2019 South Delta flood has probably caused more damage than the Great Flood of 1927. It has led to the disturbance of the peaceful area as people were forced from their homes, roads were destroyed and wildlife was forced out of their home territories and into the roads.

“The flooding has put a great deal of stress on all wildlife in the area,” said Mississippi Department of Wildlife Public Affairs Representative Warren Strain. “There’s restricted areas where they can live and look for food, so it’s been a great stress on not only the deer, but the other animals as well.

“Because of this condensed area you’re going to have more collisions between the animals and vehicles, but fortunately a lot of the roadways have been closed down, and there’s limited access so with those two things combined it’s helped to reduce the number of collisions.”

The South Delta was flooded for over 150 days, but thankfully, the water levels are now steadily receding. Most wildlife is beginning to slowly make its way back home, most notably deer.

The deer “are going back to their normal, most typical and usual range, and as the water recedes they will spread back out so to speak,” Strain said.

As the water levels continue to fall, Strain stressed that doing less is better in terms of helping the animals.

“Just leave the wildlife alone,” he said “They’re already under a lot of stress, and anything that adds to that is harmful. So the best thing to do is just stay away from them. The fawns are being born now, and we’re in that process. So just leave them alone, and let nature run its course.”