Yazoo NWR, established in 1936, encompasses almost 13,000 acres and consists of diverse habitat managed for migratory birds and endangered species. Habitats vary from bottomland hardwoods to cypress swamps and agricultural fields.
Emphasis is placed on providing food for wintering waterfowl, which utilize the refuge in large numbers, at times exceeding 250,000 birds. These foods consist of corn, milo, rice, wheat, etc. and moist-soil plants. The refuge has over 70 water management units and has restored over 2,000 acres of marginal agricultural land to bottomland hardwoods.
The refuge is the site of a major Corps of Engineers project which allows the refuge to manage water on 4,000 acres of Swan Lake. Shorebird management is a new objective and is incorporated in the management of 240 acres of abandoned fish ponds.