Eye on Nature - Texas Parks and Wildlife E-Newsletter

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Fall 2008          A publication of the Wildlife Diversity Program—Getting Texans Involved

Treasures Lost and (re)Found

Much of Texas was once described as grasslands, from our noted prairie regions like the Blackland Prairies and the Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, to those not so obviously named like the Edwards Plateau, much of which would be prairie interspersed with canyons, or the Trans Pecos where grasslands are common at lower elevations.
Grasslands: Treasures Lost and (re)Found

A landscape approach to
upland bird conservation

The Western Navarro Bobwhite Recovery Initiative - WNBRI

Until the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, the sound of “Bob-bob-whiiiiite” was as much of a springtime passage in Navarro County as the annual bloom of wildflowers. During this time, the bobwhite whistles slowly began to fade. By the late 1980’s they had become all but silent. Today, except in small isolated habitat patches in the western portion of the county, the springtime silence continues. If you’re lucky, and happen to be in the right place at the right time, you just might hear one, but it is almost like finding a needle in a haystack. When you do hear one you are so surprised that you second guess yourself.
Read more of A landscape approach to upland bird conservation

Native grassland restoration programs

One hundred and fifty years ago much of Texas west of I-45 was a sea of native grass that fed foraging herds of bison, antelope, elk and deer and provided habitat for hundreds of other grassland dependent species of wildlife. Grass health was maintained by the nomadic nature of the large herds of herbivores whose constant movement prevented local overgrazing and periodic lightning or Native American induced fires.
Read more of Native grassland restoration programs

Lake Arrowhead State Park

Built by the city of Wichita Falls as a primary water source, Lake Arrowhead lies approximately fifteen miles southeast of the city in the North Central Plains of Texas. The lake covers roughly 16,400 surface acres and is bordered by 106 miles of shoreline.
Read more about Lake Arrowhead State Park

Texas nature tracking on the prairie

The North American prairie historically ranged from Canada to the Mexican border and from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to western Indiana and Wisconsin. This prairie is referred to as the Great Plains.
Read more of Texas nature tracking on the prairie

Endangered birds of the coastal prairies -
vanishing or recovering?

The eerie sounds of a coastal prairie dawn were all but silenced. The mournful "boom" of the Attwater subspecies of Greater Prairie-Chicken have all but disappeared from what was once a 9,500,000 acre crescent of grassland interspersed with herbs and forbs.
Read more of Texas nature tracking on the prairie

An introduction to
Texas Turtles

Turtle, tortoise or terrapin? Many people get confused by these terms, often using them interchangeably. Texas has a single species of tortoise, the Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlanderi), and a single species of terrapin, the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin).
Read an introduction to Texas Turtles

Historical and Current Assessment of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's
Private Lands Assistance Program

Since the 1930's Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists have provided habitat management assistance to landowners. In the early years, work consisted of collecting data for hunting/fishing regulations, trapping and transporting wildlife, population studies, wildlife research, and vegetation surveys.
Read more of the Historical and Current Assessment of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Private Lands Assistance Program

The Benefits of
Backyard Bugging

A few weeks ago I bought a new (to me) camera body that allows me to once again use my close-up lenses left over from the film era. Since then, I've been shooting backyard bugs.
Read The Benefits of Backyard Bugging

The Back Porch
A passion for people

I’m a wildlife biologist. Therefore, I’m in the “people business”. If you think those two statements contradict one another, you’re not alone. However, it’s true.
Read more of The Back Porch: A passion for people

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