Habitat Restoration

Propagation, mapping and re-introducing in Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

The wet pine savanna and seepage slope habitats of Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana provide important ecological functions that include a nutrient-poor subsurface water flow, diverse herbaceous understory, nesting habitat and resources for many species such as Red-cockaded woodpeckers, Henslow sparrows and Brown headed nuthatches.

The Garden, through support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been involved in wet prairie and seepage slope restoration. Specifically, the Garden has identified plant populations of Sarracenia alata most in need of conservation management. Working with the USFWS, restoration efforts of longleaf pine savanna were enhanced through careful habitat mapping (GIS) and subsequent population augmentation of Sarracenia alata into appropriate ecotones. Sarracenia alata seeds, among other species, were collected from Big Branch Marsh and grown at the Garden. Many thousands of seedlings were grown and planted into suitable and stable habitats. Subsequent success of outplanted individuals is being assessed annually by Garden staff.