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texas's Wildlife

Texas is the most beautiful state or province in North America! It covers greater than 250,000 square miles of prairie, forests, canyon lands, rivers, streams and ocean. It is not only ecologically diverse it is culturally radiant due in no small part to its shared border with Mexico. Texas is home to a vast array of wildlife with opportunities to view and commune with nature around every bend.

Texas is at a critical point in its history in terms of nature. Today, life is slightly different than when settelers first arrived. While some species are still abundant some of our most treasured wildlife species are at crossroads. Through the efforts of wildlife biologists and caring citizens, many of these species will remain a constant source of pleasure for generations to come. However, without some help and care, these species could end up going the way of the passenger pigeon.

A sure example of this is the Atwater’s prairie chickens on the coastal plains. With less than 70 individuals, a catastrophic event could place them into the history books in the category of what once was. If it was not for the help of Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists, caring Texans, private landowners, and partners like the Houston Zoo, this species might already be gone.

The state’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan provides an exhaustive description of texas’s biodiversity as well as conservation challenges and opportunities.

State Bird
texas's Wildlife
Mockingbird
State Large Mammal
texas's Wildlife
Long Horn
State Small Mammal
texas's Wildlife
Armadillo
State Fish


texas's Wildlife


Guadalupe Bass
Learn more about Wildlife Conservation Learn more about Wildlife Conservation


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As fire seasons have tended to become longer and fire behavior more severe, questions inevitably arise among the public and media. “Is this the worst fire season ever?” “How does this year compare with otherbad fire seasons?”

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East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture (EGCPJV) prescribed fire communications strategy.  Developed with input from more than 45 prescribed fire/resource management experts throughout the East Gulf Coastal Plain, as well as guidance from the EGCPJV staff and board, the Strategy focuses on achieving three overarching policy, outreach and education goals that address current impediments to the use of prescribed fire.  A total of 30 prescribed fire messages designed to achieve those goals provide background and detailed supporting information to serve as a flexible foundation for future communications and initiatives.

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Policy Resolution 13-04: Western Governors direct the Western Governors’ Wildlife Council to continue its guidance in the development, management and implementation with partners of the state and West-wide CHATs. Western Governors also urge federal agencies to use state fish and wildlife data and analyses as principal sources to inform their land use, land planning and related natural resource decisions, rather than spending scarce resources duplicating existing state data collection efforts.

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This 2nd edition of the NBCI’s annual “State of the Bobwhite” report provides the most comprehensive assessment ever compiled on the current state of bobwhite conservation in the US.

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This first annual “State of the Bobwhite” report by the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) and the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) provides a snapshot of the population, hunting, and conservation status of the northern bobwhite, Colinus virginianus. This report provides an assessment of range-wide bobwhite population and hunting  activity trends as well as state-by-state population, hunting, and management status summaries. Also featured are key perceptions of state quail coordinators on the trends and current status of quail conservation efforts in their state.  These data were compiled in 2011 for the NBCI State Agency Inventory Project.

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Conservation buffers such as filter strips, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, and field borders are especially applicable to southeastern landscapes and have multiple environmental benefits while serving to significantly improve wildlife habitats.

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Summary Findings

  • The Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds practice (CP33) is the first Federal conservation practice to target species-specific population recovery goals of a national wildlife conservation initiative (the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative).
  • Over 14 states, breeding bobwhite densities were 70 to 75 percent greater around CP33 buffered fields than around unbuffered crop fields.
  • Fall bobwhite covey densities were 50 to 110 percent greater around CP33 fields than around unbuffered crop fields, and this positive response to CP33 increased each subsequent year of the study.
  • Several upland songbirds (e.g., dickcissel, field sparrow) responded strongly to CP33 in the landscape.
  • Area-sensitive grassland birds (e.g.,grasshopper sparrow) exhibited little response to CP33 buffers.
  • These findings illustrate the wildlife value of field borders and other buffer practices implemented through EQIP, WHIP, and other conservation programs.
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The conservation provisions of the Farm Bill can produce more consistent positive wildlife habitat benefits when policy (program statutes, rules, practices, and practice standards) is developed in the context of explicit goals identified as part of large-scale conservation initiatives.

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The conservation objective in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley is to provide forested habitat capable of supporting sustainable populations of all forest dependent wildlife species. This report provides recommendations to improve and enhance management activities directed at providing habitat for priority wildlife species.

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For a landscape supporting healthy native bird populations across the LMVJV

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The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) is the unified range-wide strategy of 25 state wildlife agencies, with numerous conservation group and research institution partners, to achieve widespread restoration of native grassland habitats and huntable populations of wild quail.

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This publication provides technical guidance and practical information for wildlife management beyond planting and managing food plots. 

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Wildlife tourism contributes substantially to the Gulf Coast economy.  Wildlife tourism is defined as (1) guide and outfitter businesses directly serving wildlife watchers, recreational fishers and hunters, and (2) lodging and dining establishments where these clients sleep and eat. Read More »


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Summarizes biology of wild pigs, history of introduction and range of occurence within the U.S., and ecological and economic impacts, with suggestions for management strategies. Read More »


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Report summarizes current status of coastal wetlands and six wildlife species in the Gulf two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Read More »


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Fire has shaped Louisiana’s landscape for thousands of years. Native Americans set fires to reduce “rough” vegetation, improve hunting areas and create space for crops. Many fires were started by lightning strikes during spring and fall dry seasons. Even during periods of summer rain, lightning ignited fires in grass, dry leaves and at the base of trees. Across much of Louisiana, these fires maintained coastal prairie, longleaf pine and shortleaf pine/oak/hickory ecosystems. Wildlife was nourished by the diversity of plants that flourished in areas that were frequently burned. The short intervals between fires prevented large accumulations of fuel. This reduced the occurrence of intense fires that could damage or kill large expanses of trees.

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In February 2013, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council requested the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) promulgate an emergency rule for the 2013 recreational red snapper season. This emergency rule was implemented on March 25, 2013, and allowed for implementation of state-specific closure authority of the federal exclusive economic zone off states not adopting consistent federal recreational red snapper regulations.
 

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a suite of Farm Bill conservation programs and practices that provide incentives to enhance environmental quality on privately-owned agricultural lands. In 2004, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) initiated conservation practice Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds (CP33) under  the continuous sign-up Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to target recovery of northern bobwhite (Colinus virgianianus) and other upland bird species in row-crop  agricultural landscapes. This was the first CRP practice designed specifically to help meet recovery objectives of a large-scale wildlife conservation initiative and the first to  require a wildlife monitoring component as part of its practice directive. The FSA initially allocated 250,000 CP33 acres to 35 states (increased to 350,000 acres in 2010) to be actively managed over a period of 10 years and charged the Southeast Quail Study Group (SEQSG, now National Bobwhite Technical Committee) with development of a coordinated CP33 monitoring protocol to generate measures of population response for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and other priority bird species at multiple spatial scales.

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A Bird Trail is more than a trail in the literal sense.  It is a “necklace” of sites, usually linked by a physiographic feature such as a river, that are united by the theme of “great for bird watching!”  Birding Trails are essentially driving routes that help you get from one prime birding spot to the next.

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The term “early successional habitat” describes the shrubs, trees, and other plants that grow back on the land after older vegetation has been removed or cut back. We can visualize this important habitat type as all the stages of plant growth from open grasslands to young forest. Historically, these habitats were created by natural disturbances, extreme physical conditions such as poor soils or harsh climates, the abandonment of agricultural land, and logging. In recent years, human development has greatly reduced the amount of land available to wildlife, and many of the disturbances that once gave rise to early successional habitat – fire, extensive areas of flooding caused by beavers, and heavy logging – have been suppressed (Trani et al. 2001). As a result, populations of wildlife that need early successional habitat have fallen drastically (Litvaitis, 1993; Thompson & Dessecker, 1997).

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South Texas, the "Last Great Habitat"
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Concerns about conservation of the tropical rainforests and other well-known regions of the world are widely publicized, yet a region of inestimable biological wealth lies relatively unrecognized on the back doorstep of North America. The region lying south of a line from Port O’Connor to Victoria, northwest to San Antonio and west to Del Rio known as “South Texas” is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world (Fig. ). In fact, it is termed “hyper-diverse” by many ecologists. We feel that conservation of this biological treasure is of urgent concern to policy makers, nature enthusiasts, and the general public throughout the region and nation.

Because virtually all land in South Texas is privately owned, incentives are needed that enable landowners to retain ownership and keep the habitat in an unfragmented condition. These incentives might include conservation easements and tax breaks for wildlife conservation or business ventures focused on outdoor recreation.





Methylmercury is a form of mercury that is found in most freshwater and saltwater fish. In some lakes, rivers, and coastal waters in California, methylmercury has been found in some types of fish at concentrations that may be harmful to human health. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has issued health advisories to fishers and their families giving recommendations on how much of the affected fish in these areas can be safely eaten. In these advisories, women of childbearing age and children are encouraged to be especially careful about following the advice because of the greater sensitivity of fetuses and children to methylmercury. 

Fish are nutritious and should be a part of a healthy, balanced diet. As with many other kinds of food, however, it is prudent to consume fish in moderation. OEHHA provides advice to the public so that people can continue to eat fish without putting their health at risk.
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This report describes the key findings of an analysis of the status and recent changes in ownership size, land  use and property values of private farms, ranches and forestlands in Texas. The goal of this work is to provide  public and private decision makers with the data they need to plan for the conservation of working rural lands  in Texas. Included in this report are four summaries describing results of technical analyses upon which many  of our conclusions are based. Our primary data sources were the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts  (who provided a 1992-2001 annual compilation of land use and land value data from 1,032 independent school  districts), and the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Statistics Service. We also obtained data from the U. S. Census Bureau,  U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Inventory, and the U. S. Department of Commerce/Bureau of Economic Analysis–Regional Economic Information System. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) base maps obtained from the Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS). This work was made possible by grants to American Farmland Trust from the Meadows Foundation and Houston Endowment, Inc.

Our specific objectives were to:

  • Assess the current status and recent trends in rural land ownership size, land use and property values in Texas;
  • Determine relationships among land size, land use and property values;
  • Develop a map-based simulation model for projecting future trends in rural lands, and use this model to explore  the implications of initiating a Purchase of Development Rights program;
  • Encourage the development of policies for conserving productive rural lands and wildlife habitats in Texas; and
  • Provide public access to these data using a Web site with interactive mapping and custom data queries.
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ABSTRACT—Assessing numerical response of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) to habitat improvement in semi-arid rangeland often is confounded by responses of populations to highly variable patterns of rainfall. During 2 years of above-average rainfall, we investigated abundance of northern bobwhites relative to type of range and treatments to reduce brush on seven ranches in southern Texas. We expected response of populations to treatment of land to be more evident when northern bobwhites were released from constraints of low precipitation. However, main factors dominating abundance were rainfall during the previous growing season and type of range. Greatest numbers of calls were in mid-productivity rangeland (potential production of forage 2,000–3,900 kg/ha), especially sandy loam, clay loam, sandy, and gravelly ridge. Treatments to reduce brush increased abundance of northern bobwhites to a limited extent and were most effective when large blocks of land were treated. Techniques that kill brush (root-plowing) were more successful in increasing populations than top-removal methods (roller-chopping). Leaving strips or mottes (large clumps of living brush and trees) in cleared areas did not enhance populations, although we caution that retaining some brush cover may be important to survival of northern bobwhites in drier years and in situations where herbaceous cover  is less abundant.

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This comprehensive wildlife management planning guidelines provide detailed information on wildlife property tax deductions, habitat control, erosion control. predator control, how to provide supplemental water, food and shelter, as well as a census for the Edwards Plateau and Cross Timbers & Prairies Ecological Regions.

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Excerpts from the Texas Wildlife Action Plan (WAP) applicable to private landowners.

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A range-wide sampling framework and survey method is being developed to estimate total abundance of active leks for the population of LPC. In addition, standard operating procedures are being developed for aerial surveys and ground truthing surveys. The methods are being developed with the assistance of core members of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Interstate Working Group (LPCIWG). It is anticipated that the plan will be implemented in a pilot study in the  spring of 2012. This study plan and results of the pilot study will provide managers within the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) a more consistent approach for trend analyses of abundance of LEPC leks across the species’ range.

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Lesser prairie-chickens and greater sage-grouse depend on large prairie and steppe landscapes shared by agricultural producers, primarily ranching operations. Historically, their ranges were vast, but today wild prairies have dwindled by 90 percent, and sagebrush steppe by 50 percent. Stressors on these landscapes continue and include energy development, subdivision, invasive species, and drought. As a result of this reduction in available habitat, the two species have been added to the list of Candidate Species for Endangered Species Act protection.

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This document describes the different habitat requiremenst of the LPC. It includes descriptions of nesting habitat, brood-rearing habitat, fall/winter habitat, LEPC diet, and predators/diseases.

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This document provides a brief description of the different habitat types or land uses that occur in the Southern Great Plains and their relative importance to the LPC. Included are rangelands, riparian, croplands, and Conservation Reserve Program land uses.

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The goal of the protocol is to consistently monitor trend in vegetation structure on individual properties voluntarily applying management under initiative contract. Closely follow the directions to allow the data to be combined across the ecological regions and assess trend in vegetation at a landscape scale. Monitoring and vegetation protocols below address the Conference Report’s guidance on assessment and monitoring protocols that the SWAT and FO will perform on individual properties.
 

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Populations of Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus; LEPC) have declined by more than 90%. The main factors precipitating this decline have been the conversion of sand-sage and mixed-grass prairie to agriculture, juniper encroachment,  excessive cattle grazing, and fossil-fuel and suburban development. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields contribute greatly to the remaining habitat of the LEPC; however, approximately three million acres of CRP within the current LEPC distribution will soon expire, and potentially be re-converted to cropland.

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The mission of Western Grassland Initiative is to serve as the primary contributor to the implementation of conservation and management actions, through partnerships and cooperative efforts, resulting in improved species status, grassland habitats, and recreational opportunities for grassland dependent species across North America.

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The overall distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has declined an estimated 92 percent since settlement by people of European descent and an estimated 78 percent since the early 1960s. Concurrent with this decrease in occupied range, numbers of lesser prairie-chickens have declined at least 90 percent since European settlement, resulting in smaller, more isolated populations. As a consequence of these declines, the lesser prairie-chicken is a candidate for federal listing as a threatened or endangered species.

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Proposed rule; revision and reopening of comment period.

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Lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) ECOS profile.

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Through Working Lands for Wildlife —a voluntary, incentive-based effort—the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and its conservation partners will provide landowners with technical and financial assistance to: Restore populations of declining wildlife species. provide farmers, ranchers, and forest managers with regulatory certainty that conservation investments they make today help sustain their operations over the long term, and strengthen and sustain rural economies by restoring and protecting the productive capacity of working lands. Read more about the different focal species here.

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According to the Mississippi Prescribed Fire Council, periodic fire played an important ecological role in shaping southern forests and grasslands. Longleaf pine is the premier example of a native Mississippi ecosystem adapted to fire.  It is also a relict landscape, having been largely replaced with loblolly pine.  At one time, longleaf pine forests covered 90 million acres across the Southeast, but now only scattered remnants totaling 3 million acres remain.  Most are privately owned.  

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This document is a comprehensive range-wide conservation plan (RWP) for the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus; hereafter LPC). The goal of the RWP is to conserve the LPC for future generations while facilitating continued and uninterrupted economic activity throughout the entire five-state LPC range. The RWP identifies a two-pronged strategy for LPC conservation: (1) the coordinated implementation of incentive-based land owner programs, and (2) the implementation of a mitigation framework which reduces threats and provides resources for off-site conservation.

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A review of bird census techniques opens with the statement that ‘birds are counted for a wide variety of reasons by a bewildering range of methods’. In the southeastern United States, a number of different survey techniques and protocols are used. Some form the foundation of regional, national and international avian monitoring programs, while others have the potential to do so. In order to promote awareness of what programs and protocols are available, this guide summarizes popular, multi-species bird monitoring programs and protocols that are currently used, or could be used, within the Southeast Partners in Flight region.

The guide is meant as a starting point for individuals seeking out information to assess the pros and cons of various protocols in addressing their project objectives. In those cases where the protocols are inextricably linked to a broader monitoring program, the program itself (e.g., North American Breeding Bird Survey) and/or the sampling scheme (e.g., Strategic Multi-scale Grassland Bird Population Monitoring) is summarized along with the protocol. Our focus was primarily on those protocols designed to measure abundance and demographic parameters.

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texas's Wildlife Texas Conservation Action Plan (TCAP)
Also known as the Texas Wildlife Action plan (TWAP) or Texas Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (TXCWCS)

The Texas Conservation Action Plan's purpose is to provide a statewide "roadmap" for research, restoration, management and recovery projects addressing Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and important habitats. "SGCN" include terrestrial, freshwater, and marine birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates (like insects and freshwater mussels), fishes, plants and plant communities. The goal of the Plan is ultimately to conserve and improve the status of these species and, as possible, prevent listings under the Endangered Species Act. The Conservation Action Plan has elements for anyone interested in conservation in Texas, not just Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

Outline of the Texas Conservation Action Plan

Wildlife and Habitat Management in texas
Whether you grow tomatoes, irrigate rice, sell sod, raise cattle, tend orchards, own forest, cut timber, run a hunt club or feed wildlife, in some way you manage habitat. “Best management practices” (BMPs) are available to assist landowners with planning, implementing and managing their land.

Developed by experienced practitioners, and management and research organizations, these management tools are based on the best available science. BMPs will often save landowners money in the long term even as they improve conditions for wildlife in the short term.


Best Management Practice Downloads
The following are a selection of BMPs culled from various national, regional, state and local sources. Each is available for download as a pdf.
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Texas has over 191,000 miles of waterways with riparian areas – the green vegetation zones along creeks, rivers and lakes – that provide great economic, social, cultural and environmental value to the state.  Proper management of these areas can reverse years of neglect and result in improved water quality and stable reservoir capacity.  Recommendations given herein are focused on central and eastern Texas and include restoration techniques, plant species selection, monitoring methods, and grazing and cropland management. 

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East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture (EGCPJV) prescribed fire communications strategy.  Developed with input from more than 45 prescribed fire/resource management experts throughout the East Gulf Coastal Plain, as well as guidance from the EGCPJV staff and board, the Strategy focuses on achieving three overarching policy, outreach and education goals that address current impediments to the use of prescribed fire.  A total of 30 prescribed fire messages designed to achieve those goals provide background and detailed supporting information to serve as a flexible foundation for future communications and initiatives.

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Conservation buffers such as filter strips, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, and field borders are especially applicable to southeastern landscapes and have multiple environmental benefits while serving to significantly improve wildlife habitats.

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Summary Findings

  • The Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds practice (CP33) is the first Federal conservation practice to target species-specific population recovery goals of a national wildlife conservation initiative (the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative).
  • Over 14 states, breeding bobwhite densities were 70 to 75 percent greater around CP33 buffered fields than around unbuffered crop fields.
  • Fall bobwhite covey densities were 50 to 110 percent greater around CP33 fields than around unbuffered crop fields, and this positive response to CP33 increased each subsequent year of the study.
  • Several upland songbirds (e.g., dickcissel, field sparrow) responded strongly to CP33 in the landscape.
  • Area-sensitive grassland birds (e.g.,grasshopper sparrow) exhibited little response to CP33 buffers.
  • These findings illustrate the wildlife value of field borders and other buffer practices implemented through EQIP, WHIP, and other conservation programs.
Read More »


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The conservation provisions of the Farm Bill can produce more consistent positive wildlife habitat benefits when policy (program statutes, rules, practices, and practice standards) is developed in the context of explicit goals identified as part of large-scale conservation initiatives.

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Review of the available literature on the ecological and economic impact of ecosystem services provided by  bats. Read More »


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Summarizes biology of wild pigs, history of introduction and range of occurence within the U.S., and ecological and economic impacts, with suggestions for management strategies. Read More »


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Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) were once common, even abundant, on farms, rangelands and forests across more than 30 states. Bobwhites have declined an average of 3% per year since 1966, and have virtually disappeared from some northern states. The last strongholds are portions of the western states with significant native habitats and quail-friendly land-use patterns, or other locales where bobwhite management is a priority on agricultural or plantation lands. Over most of the species’ range, the decline of wild bobwhite populations has relegated quail hunting to memories. The next few decades may be our last opportunity to halt the declines, stem widespread localized extinctions of bobwhites, and restore populations enough to create new memories for many.

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This brief University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture publication includes tips for developing a management plan and actual practices for habitat management.  It includes sections on special habitat types, tips on native species, food plots, pesticide use, snags, brush piles, supplemental feeding, water and nest boxes of many kinds. Read More »


From The Heinz Center, this 2008 lengthy publication is targeted to land managers who practice adaptive management.

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A Prescribed Fire Association is a group of landowners and other concerned citizens that form a partnership to conduct prescribed burns. Prescribed burning is the key land management tool used to restore and maintain native plant communities to their former diversity and productivity for livestock production and wildlife habitat. Native prairies, shrublands, and forests supply the majority of livestock forage and much of the wildlife habitat in the U.S. Without fire, many native plant communities become dysfunctional and unproductive. Research has clearly shown that there is no substitute for fire. 

Many forest and grassland ecosystems are fire dependent and not burning is poor land management.  Why do not more people use prescribed fire to manage their land? First, fire was not part of the European culture that settled in post-Columbian America. Fire exclusion and fire suppression has been engrained in our society for years and popularized by the very successful Smokey the Bear ad campaign. The result has been a rapid decline in the quality of our natural resources, along with costing taxpayers millions of dollars each year to fight wildfires and the many other negative consequences of fuel build up. This article has been adapted from Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Association. Read More »


A summary of all the benefits of prescribed fire in southern forests.

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This 40-page document provides detailed information on the biology of wild pigs, how to recognize their presence, the type of damage they can cause to agriculture and natural areas and a wide range of management techniques, including hunting.  It applies to just about anywhere in the U.S. where wild pigs are found.

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Lists toxicities of many different chemicals and how to reduce the risk of pesticide drift. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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Cost estimates developed for 6 2-acre levee ponds, including production facilities, site selection and pond construction, feed storage, water supply, equipment, and production practices. A list of all Southern Regional Aquaculture Center factsheets (more than 150) are available at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/

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Provides instructions for artificial regeneration, site prep, seedings and planting to re-establish longleaf pine.  The guidelines conclude, “Longleaf pine has many desirable characteristics for landowners who have multiple-use forest management objectives. On appropriate sites, and with careful attention to detail during the regeneration phase, it is possible to enjoy the versatility of this species without compromising growth rates.” Read More »


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The mission of Western Grassland Initiative is to serve as the primary contributor to the implementation of conservation and management actions, through partnerships and cooperative efforts, resulting in improved species status, grassland habitats, and recreational opportunities for grassland dependent species across North America.

Read More »


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A review of bird census techniques opens with the statement that ‘birds are counted for a wide variety of reasons by a bewildering range of methods’. In the southeastern United States, a number of different survey techniques and protocols are used. Some form the foundation of regional, national and international avian monitoring programs, while others have the potential to do so. In order to promote awareness of what programs and protocols are available, this guide summarizes popular, multi-species bird monitoring programs and protocols that are currently used, or could be used, within the Southeast Partners in Flight region.

The guide is meant as a starting point for individuals seeking out information to assess the pros and cons of various protocols in addressing their project objectives. In those cases where the protocols are inextricably linked to a broader monitoring program, the program itself (e.g., North American Breeding Bird Survey) and/or the sampling scheme (e.g., Strategic Multi-scale Grassland Bird Population Monitoring) is summarized along with the protocol. Our focus was primarily on those protocols designed to measure abundance and demographic parameters.

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In recent years, there has been increased interest in establishing native warm season grasses (NWSG) and forbs as wildlife habitat. Commonly known as prairie or prairie grass, native grasslands and savannas, a forest/grassland complex with less than 50% tree coverage, historically dominated the landscape across much of the United States. These grasses and forbs grow during the warmer months of the year as opposed to cool season grasses such as fescue and brome.

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BMPs oriented more specifically toward farming & agriculture, energy efficiency and invasive & native species are also available on this site.

Wildlife Conservation news from the Houston Conservation Center
The following news articles are provided by the Google News service and do not reflect the views or imply an endorsement by the Houston Conservation Center and its affiliates. We cannot guarantee the relevance of the content of this page or any links that may be followed from the articles herein.
Google News
Texas parks department, advocates pushing Congress to reauthorize key conservation fund  The Texas Tribune

The chief of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says the absence of the 54-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund is a "substantial loss" for state ...



Experts: More armadillos making St. Louis home | State  News-Press Now

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nine-banded armadillo is settling into the St. Louis area after marching from Texas across the county for the last 169 years, according to ...



A future for red wolves may be found on Galveston Island, Texas  Science Daily

Red wolves, once nearly extinct, again teeter on the abyss. New research finds red wolf ancestry in Texas -- providing opportunities for additional conservation ...



Analysis | The Energy 202: Trump's border wall would hurt Texas wildlife, government experts warned  The Washington Post

THE LIGHTBULB. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke arrives for an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington. ((AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File).



Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission mulls more limits on alligator gar  Dallas News

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has taken the pole position in cinching the noose tighter on already restrictive alligator gar harvest...



Texas Parks and Wildlife Pushes to Reinstate Funds for Program that Supports San Antonio Missions and Other Parks  San Antonio Current

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and other advocates are making a last minute push for Congress to restore funding to a program that's provided $577.



Mountain Home graduate honored as top wildlife officer in US  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A Mountain Home High School graduate was recently honored as one of the top wildlife officers in the nation.



Yowie and 7-Eleven Team Up with the Dallas Zoo To Celebrate Wildlife Conservation Day With Gifts for Animals and Visitors  Associated Press

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 3, 2018--To celebrate Wildlife Conservation Day, Yowie Chocolate, a popular Australian chocolate brand with a mission ...



Lawsuit Launched to Speed Habitat Protection for Two Texas Salamanders  Center for Biological Diversity

AUSTIN, Texas— The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife *Service* for failing to designate critical ...



Rancher leaves behind legacy: Frank Yturria praised for his conservation work  Brownsville Herald

A leading light of conservation in South Texas has been extinguished with the passing of rancher and philanthropist Frank Yturria, who died at a Houston ...



SUNDAY CONVERSATION: Conservationist stresses prairie’s importance  Chron

Mary Anne Piacentini is the face and name people associate with the Katy Prairie Conservancy, which protects land west of Katy that is representative of what ...



Mountain Home grad honored as top wildlife officer  Texarkana Gazette

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark.—A Mountain Home High School graduate was recently honored as one of the top wildlife officers in the nation.



Interior Dept. officials downplayed federal wildlife experts' concerns about Trump's border wall, documents show  The Washington Post

Federal government scientists raised red flags last year about President Trump's proposed wall for the U.S.-Mexico border, suggesting that it could harm the ...



STC, Texas Parks & Wildlife Partner for Indoor Target Range  KVEO-TV

South Texas College is partnering with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to construct an indoor target range in Pharr.



Saulsbury Donates $100,000 to Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation's Fund to Repair Pool at Balmorhea State Park  PRNewswire

ODESSA, Texas, Dec. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Saulsbury has announced a donation of $100,000 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation's Balmorhea State ...



MHHS graduate Wildlife Officer of the Year  Baxter Bulletin

A Mountain Home High School graduate was recently honored as one of the top wildlife officers in the nation.



Texas border congressman airs SpaceX border wall concerns  Austin American-Statesman

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, a leader in the effort to block Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., from becoming speaker ...



See what taxidermy treasures this South Texas wildlife refuge uncovered, displays for free  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

South Texas' largest exhibit of rare, endangered, common and extinct taxidermy birds of the world on display at the Welder Foundation in Sinton.



US National Butterfly Centre to be bulldozed to make way for Trump border wall with Mexico  The Independent

Swathes of a 100-acre butterfly sanctuary along the Rio Grande in Texas are to be bulldozed to make way for Donald Trump's US-Mexico border wall, putting ...



22 hiking and biking spots in North Texas where you can get a dose of nature this fall  Dallas News

Have you and your family been outside lately? Most of us spend a lot of time indoors, and one study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...



SpaceX May Be New Barrier for Trump’s Border Wall  The New York Times

A planned stretch of wall in Texas may be the first to be built under President Trump. It's likely to be opposed by landowners, including a wildlife refuge — and ...



Hurricane Harvey report seeks to 'future-proof' Texas from climate change without saying so directly  Dallas News

Updated at 2:15 p.m and 4:50 p.m.: Adds comments from Gov. Greg Abbott's news conference, additional interviews and background. To protect itself from the ...



Galveston residents weigh in on hurricane levee proposal that some call "a really bad, bad plan"  The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas General Land Office proposed a massive levee system for the Houston area in late October that would cost as ...



Williamson County unveils its first wildfire protection plan  KXAN.com

The Williamson County Office of Emergency Management and a large team of community stakeholders worked to develop a comprehensive plan to address the ...



Frank Yturria's Conservation Legacy  KVEO-TV

One of South Texas's most prominent citizens died this week, and our Outdoor Reporter Richard Moore lost a cherished friend with the death of rancher Frank ...



Renowned South Texas conservationist Frank Yturria dies  Brownsville Herald

Frank Yturria, a renowned conservationist and South Texas rancher whose biography includes sharing a rodeo circuit with Gene Autry and Roy Rogers in the ...



The weirdest Texas game warden stories of 2018  Chron

The stories you are about to read are true. The names have been left out to protect the innocent...and sometimes, the down-right stupid. Every day the men and ...



Trump Administration Refuses to Ban Wildlife-killing M-44 'Cyanide Bombs'  Center for Biological Diversity

WASHINGTON— The Environmental Protection Agency has refused to ban M-44s, commonly known as cyanide bombs, which cause agonizing deaths for ...



What are nurdles, where do they come from, and are they killing our wildlife?  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Plastic nurdles in the Gulf of Mexico are getting more attention in South Texas as more of the toxic pellets wash up on beaches.



Surge of oil and gas flowing to Texas coastline triggers building boom, tensions  The Texas Tribune

For Texas ports, the rise in oil and gas exports is a windfall. For some communities, it's not so simple. by Jamie Smith Hopkins, Center for Public Integrity and ...



More Than $280 Million Awarded for Restoration Projects on the Gulf Coast  GlobeNewswire

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the award of more than $280 ...



In Texas, One of the World’s Oldest, Weirdest Fish Finally Gets its Due  The Texas Observer

Long considered “trash fish,” alligator gar have patrolled Texas rivers for millions of years. Now this living fossil is catching the attention of anglers, naturalists ...



Is a Butterfly Sanctuary in Danger of Being Bulldozed to Build President Trump's Border Wall?  Snopes.com

President Trump's proposed border wall is expected to have a significant impact on the surrounding environment.



Lili Sams named managing editor of Lone Star Outdoor News - Texas Hunting & Fishing  Lone Star Outdoor News

Lone Star Outdoor News hired Lili Sams as managing editor. Lili brings a wealth of experience to the job, making her return to Texas after a few years working in ...



Texas Biologists Discover Rare Species in Peru  Spectrum News

Austin researchers are unveiling part of their work after spending several months in South America.



'Death sentence': butterfly sanctuary to be bulldozed for Trump's border wall  The Guardian

More than 200 species make their homes at America's most diverse sanctuary, but construction through the reserve could begin in February.



In Southwest Texas, the Fracking Industry Encroaches on Small Towns, Remote Wilderness, and Clear Skies  DeSmog

Sue and James Franklin run a rock and mineral shop in Balmorhea, Texas, a small picturesque town known for hosting the world's largest spring-fed swimming ...



Scientists Find New Species of Giant Salamander in Florida  The Weather Channel

Scientists say the 2-foot long amphibian that lives in marshes and ponds in Florida and Alabama is a new species they have named reticulated siren.



This is what anglers need to know about next year's federal red snapper season  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Texas Parks & Wildlife wants to know what anglers want before deciding the dates and length of next year's federal red snapper season.



Pheasant season opens Saturday but population still recovering  NewsOK.com

Pheasant season opens in northwest Oklahoma on Saturday and hunters may find birds tough to find. "For anybody who has been out quail hunting, they can ...



Nailed to the wall: Trump’s precious barrier would be a disaster for animals and people along the Texas border  New York Daily News

Since the 2016 election, Pres. Donald Trump's pledge to build a wall along the Mexican border has loomed over the political landscape. Now, the president is ...



Texas Builds New Artificial Reef Off Sabine  Sport Fishing

The first phase of construction on Texas' newest artificial reef concluded this week when a barge load of giant granite blocks and other concrete materials joined ...



Families invited to learn about conservation  Chron

Families will all levels of experience are invited to learn more about hunting and conserving natural resources at Kids Wildlife Conservation Day on Saturday, ...



Oil and gas flow to Texas coast spawns building, tensions  The Republic

For Texas ports, the rise in oil and gas exports is a windfall. For some communities, it's not so simple.



Powderhorn Ranch along Texas coast now state wildlife area  KVIA El Paso

About 15000 acres (6070.417 hectares) of a private ranch along the Texas coast has become a state wildlife management area in a $50 million conservation ...



Some Texas ranches tout hunting exotic animals as a way to support conservation  ABC News

A sprawling, high-fenced, 18000-acre preserve is home to over 60 different species of majestic animals, including giraffes, Cape buffalos and gemsbok.



Powderhorn Ranch becomes wildlife management area | Calhoun  Victoria Advocate

More than 15000 acres of the Powderhorn Ranch along the Texas coast in Calhoun County, prime unspoiled coastal prairie, is now a state wildlife management ...



Audio: The true story of how 96 critically endangered sea turtle hatchlings survived New York City  Mongabay.com

On this episode, the true story of how 96 critically endangered sea turtles survived a New York City beach — with a little help from some dedicated ...



Using NDVI And OSAVI To Monitor Rangeland Health  Science Trends

As the demand for agriculture grows, rangeland managers are charged with the task of managing larger and more complex operations. However, many ...



CLEAN WATER ACT: EPA falsely claims 'no data' on waters in WOTUS rule  E&E News

The Trump administration says it doesn't know how many streams it is proposing to exclude from Clean Water Act jurisdiction today. But a 2017 slideshow ...



Trump’s wildlife protection council is mostly trophy hunters and donors, lawsuit says  The Washington Post

Advocacy groups sued the Trump administration Wednesday over what they call the biased makeup of a wildlife advisory council. The lawsuit filed in a U.S. ...



License plates featuring bass fish enhance TPWD conservation  Times Record News

Purchasing Texas Parks and Wildlife Department large-mouth bass conservation license plates aids conservation.



Death of Guatemalan migrant girl highlights hardline border policy  The Guardian

The death of a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl in the custody of US Customs and Border Protection is further evidence of how the harsh desert terrain along the ...



Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board announces 2018 Conservation Award winners  Southwest Farm Press

The purpose of the program is to acknowledge, recognize, and honor individuals that dedicate their time and efforts to the conservation of natural resources.



Has Hunting Become a Rich Man’s Game?  Texas Monthly

When Andrew Sansom was named executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1990, he boldly took on the challenge of uniting ...



Widely misinterpreted report still shows catastrophic animal decline  National Geographic

The World Wildlife Fund For Nature's Living Planet Report released this week describes a catastrophic decline in animal populations the world over. But it was ...



What A Butterfly Species' 'Lethal Evolutionary Trap' Teaches About Wildlife Conservation  Texas Standard

You don't have to be a biologist to know that we humans can and do heavily influence populations of the animals with whom we share the planet – often for the ...



U.S. officials urged to reconsider approval of black rhino trophy import  HSUS News

WASHINGTON—Conservation and animal-welfare groups today urged (PDF) Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife *Service* to reconsider ...



Borderland Rebellion: One Texas Naturalist Takes Conservation Into His Own Hands - The Crux  Discover Magazine

From climate change to a border wall, the scrubland plants in South Texas face myriad threats. This self-taught naturalist is taking matters into his own hands.



The importance of pollinators to soil and water conservation in Texas  Southwest Farm Press

Pollinators include the birds and the bees (butterflies, bats, beetles, moths, and even small mammals) and are vital for production agriculture.



Texas Parks and Wildlife: State park could close if Trump builds border wall through it  The Texas Tribune

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has warned U.S. Border Patrol that it could be forced to shutter a beloved state park on the southern tip of the state if ...



The Richest People In Texas, 2018  Forbes

By Chris Helman, Linh Nguyen and the Forbes Wealth Team. Patron tequila tycoon John Paul DeJoria and wife Eloise at Hearst Castle.Patrick McMullan via ...



Houston Zoo’s new black bear exhibit promotes conservation, awareness  Houston Chronicle

Two North American black bears get a new 6000 square foot exhibit space at the Houston Zoo as officials urge the public not to shoot or feed bears they see in ...



Don't be a Grinch bearing gifts that no outdoor enthusiasts wants to find under the tree  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Don't try to guess what the hunters, anglers, outdoor photographers want for Christmas.



Born Free USA Presents "A Celebration of Wildlife" Fundraising Event for US Wildlife Conservation Efforts  PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, is hosting a major fundraising event ...



Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration's Texas Border-wall Waivers  Center for Biological Diversity

WASHINGTON— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today for waiving 28 conservation laws to speed construction of the border wall along the ...



Endangered animals could get life-saving boost from oil, gas funds under new bill  USA TODAY

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would shift $1.3 billion a year in oil and gas royalties to state wildlife conservation measures.



Center for Biological Diversity  Center for Biological Diversity

Contact: Jenny Loda, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 844-7136, jloda@biologicaldiversity.org. Evelyn Merz, Sierra Club, (713) 644-8228, elmerz@hal-pc.



Why the world needs big cats  Houston Chronicle

I was preparing for an expedition into tiger territory on the Indonesian island of Sumatra — the first stop in my yearlong journey from Houston to explore big cat ...



US will allow Texas billionaire to import trophy of critically endangered black rhino he killed  HSUS News

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife *Service* will allow an American trophy hunter who killed a critically endangered black rhino to import the animal's body parts into the ...



Once Common, Texas Horned Lizard Now Being Captive-Bred and Reintroduced  National Geographic

The horned lizard, the state reptile of Texas, is up against a myriad of threats. Scientists are hoping reintroduction will help it survive.



Lesser prairie-chicken population on the rise, but advocates say it's not enough  The Texas Tribune

The latest aerial survey shows there are thousands more of the grouse in the Texas Panhandle and four surrounding states. Still, the total is tens of thousands ...



Clay County ranch earns Texas Parks and Wildlife excellence award  Times Record News

A local ranch in Clay County finished among this year's winners of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department's Lone Star Land Stewards award.



Texas Files New Conservation Plan for Rare Lizard  Courthouse News Service

AUSTIN, Texas (CN) – Texas' chief tax collector released an updated conservation plan this week that it hopes will help better protect the rare dunes sagebrush ...



Endangered Species Protection, Critical Habitat Sought for Lizard in Texas, New Mexico  Center for Biological Diversity

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife today petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife *Service* to protect the dunes sagebrush ...



All-women film team takes on border wall on behalf of all at-risk wildlife  Mother Nature Network

When you think about the border wall, it's easy to slip into the economics of it, the culture clashes, the racial tensions, and sadly, even the flame wars on Twitter ...



State board announces 2018 Conservation Award winners  Southwest Farm Press

Each year the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts (ATSWCD) ...



Turtles are in trouble in Texas. Here’s how you can help them  Star-Telegram

Thousands of turtles are hooked or snared and resold every year in Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife board will consider a new rule ending commercial turtle ...



Trump’s border wall will destroy wildlife habitat and create 6,500 acres of “no man’s lands”  Vox.com

The Department of Homeland Security is moving forward to build 17 miles of border barriers through protected areas in Texas.



Tigers prowl Texas backyards  DW (English)

A couple of thousand tigers — many owned as pets — live in Texas. That gives the US state the second-largest population of the endangered species in the ...



See who made the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation's list of South Texas conservation heroes  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

The 2018 roster of heroes selected for the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation's Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Awards is set. The 16th awards ...



More tigers live in US back yards than in the wild. Is this a catastrophe?  The Guardian

It is easier to buy a tiger in some states than to adopt a rescue dog – and only 6% of the animals are housed in approved facilities. This is bad for the big cats ...



Trump Administration Waives Environmental Laws for Texas Border Wall  Center for Biological Diversity

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas— The Trump administration today announced that it will waive 28 laws to speed construction of gates and other border-wall ...



Decline in hunters threatens economy  EverythingLubbock.com

The tradition of hunting could be fading away because officials at Texas Parks and Wildlife said the number of hunters in America is steadily declining.



Proposed border wall will harm Texas plants and animals, scientists say  Science Daily

In the latest peer-reviewed publication on the potential impacts of a border wall on plants and animals, conservation biologists say that border walls threaten to ...



Trump wildlife protection board has many trophy hunters  PBS NewsHour

A new U.S. advisory board created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions and rhinos is stacked with trophy ...



Trump Administration Waives Environmental Laws to Build Texas Border Wall in Protected Nature Areas  Center for Biological Diversity

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas— The Trump administration announced today that it will waive dozens of environmental laws to speed border-wall construction ...



Texas Comptroller Revises Plan to Protect Lizard Species  NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The Texas comptroller's office is seeking federal approval to reform a troubled state program designed to protect a rare lizard species in the petroleum-rich ...



South Texas fly fishing icon partners with airboaters, earns ambassador nod for conservation  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Rockport fly guide Chuck Naiser tapped by TPW Foundation as Untamed ambassador for Texas conservation campaign.



Endangered cranes to move through Oklahoma, wildlife department says  KFOR Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA - One of the rarest birds in North America will be making its way through Oklahoma soon and biologists are asking for your help in tracking the ...



Rewilding yards and easements saves tax money and invites the delight of spotting wildlife  Dallas News

"It's not the butterflies, it's the turkeys." The contractor put his hands on his hips. The Airfield Falls Conservation Park was under construction and the ...



New Yorker Imprisoned for Smuggling $150k in Lion and Tiger Parts  National Geographic

Arogkron Malasukum will spend nine months in jail for trafficking endangered cat skulls, claws, and teeth to a jeweler in Thailand.



Coyote Carnage: The Gruesome Truth about Wildlife Killing Contests  Yale Environment 360

Coyote killing competitions, where contestants vie to shoot the most animals, are held throughout the U.S. But some hunting groups are denouncing these ...



Faced with failure, state to propose new plan to protect West Texas lizard  Texas Tribune

The state comptroller's office went back to the drawing board after the failure of a 6-year-old plan to protect the dunes sagebrush lizard that relied on voluntary ...



Why does Trump want to mess with the Endangered Species Act?  Houston Chronicle

The Endangered Species Act, or “the Act,” is arguably the most important law in the United States for conserving biodiversity and arresting the extinction of ...



Texas scuttles protection plan for dunes sagebrush lizard  MyStatesman.com

In 2012, fearing that the federal government's move to protect a small reptile could cripple t...



Celebrate National Wildlife Day with 5 Central Texas Wildlife Conservation Nonprofits  Austin Monthly

According to the Texas Almanac, the Lone Star State is home to more than 140 species of animals. Here in Austin, we're familiar with the snakes, raccoons, and ...



Fish and Wildlife reconsiders protections for rare species  High Country News

In March, Susan Combs became temporary assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, in charge of overseeing both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife *Service* ...



This endangered bird species in Texas has a must see courting ritual  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

A million Attwater prairie chickens once lived in Texas grasslands, but both the bird and its habitat are in danger of becoming extinct.



Florida has 1,036 animals scientists think could vanish. Will this plan save them?  Bradenton Herald

A new report by three of the nation's largest and oldest conservation organizations finds that U.S. wildlife is in crisis and on a downward spiral that puts a third of ...


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