South Texas Wildlife District
Urban Wildlife Management
Did you know that the top three sounds that people prefer are natural sounds, such as birds singing, wind in the trees, and gently moving water? The least preferred sounds are urban noise, such as traffic, sirens, and gunfire. As Texas becomes increasingly urban, the need for nature in our cities becomes more and more critical. Over 80% of the Texas population live in urban areas. The six largest cities combined total over 30% of the state's population. Habitat fragmentation, habitat alteration, and the process of urbanization are major issues facing wildlife populations in urban areas.
Not only do most people within our society crave contact with nature, we benefit greatly from those positive experiences. For example, proximity to natural areas increase property values. Studies have demonstrated that people heal faster with natural views outside their hospital window. Employee satisfaction has been demonstrated to improve dramatically when natural areas are created for use on coroporate sites. Wildlife-related recreation is at an all time high.
Programs associated with Urban Wildlife Programs
Texas Wildscapes Program in South Texas
To assist cities as they strive to enhance the livability of their urban environments, Texas Parks and Wildlife has assigned wildlife biologist to work in each of the largest urban areas. The duties of these "urban biologist" include providing opportunities for urban residents to reconnect with the natural systems, presenting educational programs for adults and students on a variety of habitat/wildlife issues, serving as technical advisors on multi-agency conservation planning initiatives, and assisting landowners with habitat restoration or enhancements. The South Texas Widlife District has 3 urban biologists, one stationed in the Rio Grande Valley and the other 2 in San Antonio.