West Texas Wildlife Management

Urban Wildlife Program

Workshops available

1. Outdoor Classroom

Every outdoor classroom or “schoolyard habitat” is defined as a piece of wildlife habitat growing on school grounds that provides food, water, shelter, and space for wildlife. The main focus of a schoolyard habitat is for teaching environmental education, as well as other multidisciplinary subjects, The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) requirements for all grade levels can be achieved in the schoolyard habitat. The workshop includes an introduction to school habitats, how to get started on your school habitat, site inventory and evaluation, design considerations, plant selection, and habitat master plans.

2. Project WILD and Aquatic WILD

Project WILD/Aquatic WILD is “Wildlife in Learning Design” – a Kindergarten through 12th grade environmental and conservation education program emphasizing awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife and natural resources. They are interdisciplinary and supplementary programs that can be used to teach basic learning skills in all the required disciples (science, math, social studies, language arts, art, music, and physical education).

3. Texas Nature Trackers

The Texas Nature Tracker’s projects are for people interested in being outdoors and watching and learning about Texas wildlife. Projects offer the opportunity to observe and record data on wildlife while making a valuable contribution to wildlife conservation in Texas. The data is sent to biologists in Texas Parks and Wildlife and used for wildlife management in the state. Project workshop training in El Paso include the Texas Monarch Watch, Amphibian Watch, Horned Lizard Watch, and the Texas Hummingbird Roundup. For a full list of nature tracker projects, visit the Nature Trackers website.

Presentations available

1. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Trans-Pecos

This program covers the characteristics, identification and habitat descriptions of the amphibians and reptiles found in West Texas. It includes discussion of amphibian and reptile biological adaptations and includes pictures of all the amphibians and reptiles found in the El Paso area.

2. Bats

Natural history, ecology, and ecological importance are just some of the many topics discussed in this talk. The importance of bats and their many benefits to the environment are covered. Myths and fables about bats are addressed and dispelled.

3. Birds of Prey

The program discusses birds of prey in general with specific details on the birds of prey found in the Chihuahuan Desert. The ecology of our most common birds of prey are discussed and also a segment on predator adaptations. The program explains their past and current threats to survival and the importance of these birds in our environment.

4. Desert Ecology

This presentation provides students with a basic background of desert ecosystems. The adaptations of the flora and fauna of the Chihuahuan Desert are covered. Included are topics related to desert ecology such as food webs, animal and plant inter-relationships, drought tolerance, and aestivation.

5. Endangered Species

This presentation deals with the threatened and endangered species found in Texas. Special emphasis is placed on those species located in the Trans-Pecos region of the state. Pictures of endangered plants and animals are displayed for viewing and identification. Endangered species ecology and conservation are discussed.

6. Hummingbirds

This program deals with all aspects of hummingbird natural history. Emphasis is placed on the 15 species of hummingbirds that occur in the Trans-Pecos region of the state. Tips on hummingbird identification and the proper care of hummingbird feeders are included.

7. Introduction to Birdwatching

This presentation covers information on how to identify birds and how to use a bird field guide. A practical identification session is included. Demonstrations of making bird feeders and houses are available in addition to the basics on what birdwatching equipment you will need.

8. Animal Tracking

Most animals in the desert are hiding during the day or seeking refuge from the heat. Nocturnal wildlife are only active at night and are rarely seen by the wildlife observer. Animal sign and tracks can actually lead to presence and identification of the animal. Life size wildlife track stamps and pictures of mammals and birds are provided to help identify the animals. Includes a tracking exercise.

9. Migratory Birds

This program answers questions such as “What is a neotropical migratory bird?" “Where do they migrate from?" “Why do they migrate?" “How do they migrate?" “Why are some migratory birds in trouble?" “Why is migratory bird conservation important?' and “What can you do to assist in the conservation efforts?” The principles of stopover ecology and riparian and wetland ecology are discussed.

10. Predators and Prey

This program identifies and provides some life history information on the common predators and prey species of the Trans-Pecos region. The differences between generalist and specialist species are included along with the physical adaptations of predators and prey. Skulls of various animals are used for a visual demonstration of adaptations. The program also includes sections on the effects of predation and how humans and predators interact.

11. Venomous Animals

This presentation covers all species of venomous animals found throughout the El Paso area and Texas. The differences between venomous and non-venomous snakes are included. The geographic distribution, habitat types, food preferences, reproductive strategies, and hunting skills are discussed. Non-venomous species that are commonly confused with venomous species are distinguished. Students (and teachers too) leave this presentation with a better sense and understanding of these often persecuted animals.

12. Wetlands and Rivers

This presentation defines the different types of wetland communities and riparian ecosystems and discusses the ecological and economic importance of wetland systems. The flora and fauna of wetland and riparian areas are included. The issues threatening wetlands and the need for protection of wetland ecosystems is discussed.

13. Wildlife Restoration

This program tells the story of a program that saved the legacy of wildlife in North America. The program traces the status of wildlife in North America through a trip in time from the earliest settlement of this country until today. Several programs were created to provide federal funding that would attempt to restore our country’s depleted wildlife populations. Numerous examples of wildlife restoration success stories are given that include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, wood ducks and bears.

Educational Trunks available

1. Endangered Species — Activities, slide show, posters, videos, etc.
2. Birding — Posters, videos, more.
3. Bats — Activities, slide show, posters, videos, more
4. Wetlands — Activities, plant and animal identification materials, tracks,
5. Tracking — Tracking stamps, books, activities, pictures
6. Skins and skulls — Mammal skins and skulls for “hands-on” activities.
7. Coastal Wetlands — Activities, books, posters.

For more information on any of the above programs or presentations contact your local or urban biologist.

Wildlife Contacts
Name Title Address Phone
Lois Balin Urban Biologist 200 N. Clark Dr.
El Paso, TX 79905
Mike Hobson District Leader 109 South Cockrell
Alpine, TX 79830