The purpose of this Nature Conservancy Arkansas-Missouri Sand Ponds Conservation Project was long-term wetlands conservation and restoration of sand pond wetlands that support Lindera melissifolia, a federally-listed endangered plant species. The project will also conserve and restore an array of other Sand Ponds biota, as well as the hydrologic processes of these specialized wetlands. Sand ponds are naturally uncommon wetland habitat that have been impacted by conversion and hydrologic alteration (primarily for rice farming). The area supports a number of State-rare plant and animal species, and will benefit waterfowl such as Mallards, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal and Wood Duck. The area also supports a number of neotropical migratory species such as the Acadian Flycatcher, Prothonotary Warbler and others. The project will create a model restoration initiative using an ecosystem approach and offers an unique partnership across state lines and provides educational opportunities to local school groups, civic and scouting organizations. Approximately 80,000 bottomland hardwood seedlings were planted on 201 acres in 1998. The Nature Conservancy and the Missouri Department of Conservation played major roles in the completion of this project.
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