SITKA Team | 4.27.2022

Five Oaks Ag and Research Center

Five Oaks Ag Research and Education Center (FOAgREC) is a 2022 SITKA Ecosystem Grantee. SITKA is proud to be supporting a multifaceted program that is rooted in the commitment to inspire and support the next generation of wildlife managers, stewards and researchers. Through the SITKA Ecosystem Grant funding, we will fully sponsor scholarships for 4 students selected for the Graduate Certificate Program in Waterfowl Habitat and Recreation Management at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

By investing in a select group of post-baccalaureate students to complete the one-year GCP that uses Five Oaks as its field station and learning lab, SITKA is preparing a new generation of land managers that will be trained in the proven Five Oaks philosophy of waterfowl habitat restoration, monitoring, and management.

One of the highlights of the program is the student’s participation in a multi year winter mallard banding program at Five Oaks where they will get crucial hands on field experience, and assist in the banding and placement of transmitter backpacks on selected mallards, which provides University of Arkansas at Monticello researchers with detailed tracking of movement and behaviors. This invaluable data sheds light on habitat use and migration strategies, which can then inform management decisions and conservation efforts.

SITKA will also be supporting research and habitat restoration efforts that will investigate best practices for forestry management with the goal of promoting red oak species regeneration and long-term best management practices for bottomland hardwoods in Green Tree Reservoirs, which are of critical importance to overwintering waterfowl populations. This project will help direct the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), other federal, and private stakeholders in forest management techniques to renovate Bayou Meto WMA and other key ecosystems for waterfowl.