About the Refuge

Established in 1990 through a leaseback from the Nature Conservancy, Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge is located 15 miles southwest of Cleveland, Miss. Currently, through other state and federal aquisitions, the National Fish & Wildlife Service now manages 9,691 acres as a part of Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge.

During the 40-year period prior to service ownership, Dahomey’s hardwood forest was subject to timber harvesting, most recently in the late 1960′s. However, the land was never cleared; instead it was allowed to naturally regenerate. Today, the refuge is the largest remaining tract of bottomland hardwood-forested wetlands in the northwest portion of Mississippi, a relic of a habitat type once dominant throughout the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley.


  • Acres: 9,691 Bolivar County, MS.
  • Refuge is currently staffed by Refuge Manager and Equipment Operator.
  • Location: The refuge is located in Bolivar County on Hwy 446, 8 miles west of Boyle and about 15 miles southwest of Cleveland.
  • Late winter concentrations of migratory waterfowl reach 15,000.
  • Populations of white-tailed deer and eastern wild turkey attract hunters.
  • Large numbers of neo-tropical migratory songbirds are especially attracted to the forested woodlands in summer months.
  • General Information
  • Refuge lands are open year round, 7 days a week from dawn to dusk.
  • Refuge Headquarters are generally open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • No entrance fees.
  • Permit fees are required for hunting & fishing. Contact refuge headquarters for more information.
  • All visitors should watch for poisonous snakes, fire ants, chigers, ticks and mosquitoes and take the necessary precautions.
  • 1,050 acres of agricultural lands
  • 8,100 acres of bottomland hardwood forested wetlands
  • 500 acres in various stages of reforestation
  • 50 acres for roads and administrative purposes


Provide habitat for migratory waterfowl and other migratory birds.
Provide recreational use and environmental education for the public through the following management tools:

  • Water management for waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds.
  • Cooperative farming.
  • Bottomland-hardwood-wetland forest management and reforestation.
  • Deer management with public hunting.
  • Law enforcement.
  • Partnerships.
  • Turkey management with public hunting.


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