Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is blanketed in a rich, colorful blend of native vegetation. It is no wonder that Mississippi Sandhill Crane has chosen this habitat to be its home. This habitat is flat, wet, pine-filled, and similar to a savanna; the last of its kind in the United States. The refuge protects this ecosystem and helps ensure the survival of the animals that live there.After arriving at the refuge, visitors should explore the Visitor Center to receive maps, brochures, and helpful information about the area. There is also an observation deck on the roof of the center where guests can view the refuge from an exciting perspective.The Administrative Office and Visitor Center is located one-half mile north of Interstate 10, at Exit 61, off of Gautier-Vancleave Road. The refuge is open to visitors during daylight hours only. The Visitor Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday. The Visitor Center is closed on federal holidays. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife law and treaties at a number of offices throughout the country. Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law. Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activities to go forward.Permits are handled by permitting programs in International Affairs (Management Authority), Endangered Species, Law Enforcement, and Migratory Birds.Visit the National Wildlife Refuge System Web site for Special Use Permits.
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