Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Jason Hoeksema

Second Advisor

Peter Zee

Third Advisor

Susan Ballanger

Relational Format

Biology

Abstract

The purpose of this baseline documentation is to conduct a report on our subject property and discuss the findings. A conservation easement is established by upholding a certain standard of a property’s current condition which makes a baseline documentation necessary for an easement to be enacted. Baseline documentation reports are used as a resource to monitor and enforce the legal agreements of the conservation easement. The subject property is currently owned by the Delta Wind Birds organization. In our scenario, this documentation report will serve to aid in the conversion of our subject property into a conservation easement in which the Mississippi Land Trust will serve as the steward. The subject property is a 13.66 acre tract which borders Sky Lake, an oxbow lake located in Humphreys county. The methods used in this report range from hands on survey methods and sightings in addition to research and communication on various animal and plant species in the respective fields. The data gathered from the group’s analysis are compiled throughout this report in various charts and tables. This data includes numerous bird species that occur on the subject property as well as those of conservation concern; such as Anhinga, Bald Eagle, and Prothonotary Warbler. In addition, prominent plant species on the subject property include Bald cypress, Water hickory, American groundnut, and Balloon vine. From our findings, we are able to conclude that the subject property has a healthy and flourishing biodiversity. In addition, the conservation easement will protect the subject property from deforestation and will allow the subject property to remain in its natural vegetative state in the future.

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