E.A. McIlhenny

The Alligator's Life History

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  • This is a fully illustrated work whose copyright is expired authored by Edward Avery McIlhenny. Edward Avery McIlhenny founded the Bird City wildfowl refuge on Avery Island around 1895, which helped to save the snowy egret from extinction. Enrolling the help of businessman and conservationist Charles Willis Ward, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Sage Foundation, McIlhenny was instrumental in securing nearly 175,000 acres (710 km2) of south Louisiana coastal marshland as wildfowl refuges. He banded over 285,000 birds during his lifetime and ran a game farm on Avery Island that experimented with breeding new animal varieties. He helped to introduce the nutria to Louisiana, although - contrary to popular belief - he did not import the creatures to Louisiana, nor was he the first Louisianan to set them loose in the wild on purpose. McIlhenny used his 170-acre (0.69 km2) personal estate, known as Jungle Gardens, to propagate both Louisiana-native and imported plant varieties, including azaleas, irises, camellias, papyrus, and bamboo.