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    Tylertown, Mississippi

    207 Acres | December 1, 2008
    Merry and Ryckman Caplan, donors
    Conservation Easement
    • This place is so special to me, I wanted to be certain that it would be preserved in its natural state in times to come, not chopped up into housing subdivisions.

    Late in December 2008, Merry and Ryckman Caplan and The HSUS Wildlife Land Trust finalized a conservation easement on a 207-acre property in Tylertown, Mississippi forming the Caplan Wildlife Sanctuary. Previously a dairy farm, the property has been in agricultural and forest management use for many years. The Caplan Wildlife Sanctuary has a great diversity of habitats including mature hardwoods, large cypress and pine plantations, several ponds and regenerating fields. The Bogue Chitto River forms the southern boundary, and the relatively high flow rate creates bars along the shoreline as the river swings back and forth through time.



    Home to bobcats, beavers, deer, armadillos and many other animals, the sanctuary hosts a myriad of bird species including several species of hawks, kestrel, heron, mallards and osprey. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science has identified the presence of Gulf sturgeon in the Bogue Chitto River directly adjoining the sanctuary. This species is listed as a federally threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and as a state endangered species by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

    “We feel lucky to have placed the easement with The HSUS Wildlife Land Trust and are confident it will be in good hands,” says Dr. Merry Caplan. “Best of all, it is really protected, not just in name only like some of the conservation easements I have seen. If I don’t accomplish another thing in my life, I feel I’ve done something significant.”

    Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met. These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action.

    HSWLT has promised to protect this property as sanctuary forever -- and that promise will be kept. If you can help with the cost of stewardship for this and the other properties HSWLT protects, please donate.

    The Humane Society of the United States featured the Caplan Wildlife Sanctuary in its publication AllAnimals.

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