Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Presenter: Tim Birdsong

Texas Conservation Action Plan - Update on Efforts to Conserve Fishes of Greatest Conservation Need
January 23, 2014

I. Executive Summary:  Staff will highlight science and conservation projects currently underway throughout the state to conserve Fishes of Greatest Conservation Need identified in the Texas Conservation Action Plan.

II. Discussion: Nationally, all States have developed and routinely update proactive action plans that examine the health of fish and wildlife populations, identify specific conservation threats and needs, and prescribe specific actions to conserve focal species before they become imperiled.  The Texas Conservation Action Plan provides a “roadmap” for research, restoration, management, and recovery projects that address Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Texas, including terrestrial, freshwater, and marine birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, fishes, and plants. The ultimate goal of the plan is to conserve and improve the status of these species, keeping common species common and preventing the need for species listings under the Endangered Species Act.  The Texas Conservation Action Plan identifies 64 freshwater fishes in need of specific conservation measures to prevent them from becoming imperiled.  Since 2010, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and partners have dedicated more than $6M toward implementation of over 40 projects to benefit these focal freshwater fishes.  This presentation will highlight a subset of these projects, significant accomplishments, trends in the status of focal freshwater fishes and their habitats, and next steps in efforts to preserve Texas’ freshwater fish diversity.