Eye on Nature - Texas Parks and Wildlife E-Newsletter

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Fall 2009          A publication of the Wildlife Division—Getting Texans Involved


They were one of the first things noticed by settlers arriving from the east – these extensive stands of large, old growth pine trees. They are the fuel that drives a major industry – forestry is an important element in east Texas. They are also the vital element of an ecosystem that encompasses the eastern edge of our state – the pineywoods. And this edition of the newsletter they are the focus of our discussion – conservation in the east Texas Pineywoods.
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Challenged by Change

Someone unfamiliar with the Pineywoods Ecoregion of Texas might develop a mental picture of a landscape completely dominated by pine forests, but the Pineywoods landscape is much more diverse than that. The Pineywoods extend into portions of 40 counties along the eastern side of the state where it borders Arkansas and Louisiana. Depending upon which map you use it also either borders or is close to Oklahoma as well.
Read more of Treasure Challenged by Change

Red-cockaded woodpeckerWoodpeckers in a Living Tree?
Recovery Efforts for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker

East Texas is the western-most range of an endangered bird that has very interesting home building habits and is particular about the condition of its “neighborhood.”
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A Profile of the Timber Rattlesnake

It was the spring of 2005 when I received a call from a neighbor about a snake in his yard. I later identified the snake as a Timber Rattlesnake. I had lived on my 15 acres property for three years at the time and had noticed Copperheads, Coach Whips, Eastern Hognose, and Texas Rat Snakes, but not rattlesnakes of any kind. The next April, I saw a juvenile Timber Rattlesnake within fifty feet of my residence, and was pleased to know that I had help in controlling the rats and mice.
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Did You Know?

Interesting information about the Pineywoods Region.
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“It’s Time To Check The Nets”
Research and Conservation of Rafinesque Big-eared Bats in East Texas

“It’s time to check the nets” says Leigh Stuemke, Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) graduate student and bat researcher. Dutifully, the four biologists present hitch up our chest waders, turn on our headlamps and stomp off into the East Texas night. Mylea Bayless from Bat Conservation International (BCI) in Austin is the first to arrive with her spotlight at the stagnant pond about 75 meters from the truck.
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New Staff
at The Austin Offices

As many know, this year saw the retirement of Dr Andy Price and Mike Quinn from Texas Parks and Wildlife. It is our pleasure to introduce two new team mates who will fill their roles.
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Conserving Fleming Prairies and the Missouri Coneflower
in the Pineywoods

The Pineywoods of east Texas is blessed with an amazing diversity of habitats - several that are rare or declining. Fleming Prairies are a globally rare prairie type restricted to very western Louisiana and southeast Texas.
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Eagles on the Trinity River

Once a rare sight on the Trinity River, bald eagles are now spotted regularly by landowners, hunters, fishermen and even motorists along the waterway. Eagle populations had diminished to such low numbers, mainly as a result of the widespread use of DDT, that the eagle was placed on the endangered species list in 1973.

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What’s That Creepy Thing in My Deer?

The last months of most deer seasons bring a large number of calls from hunters concerned about consuming the deer they killed late in the season. When they process the deer, they are seeing large maggot like worms in the neck of the animal. Let’s alleviate some of those lingering worries so that none of that meat goes to waste.
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A Stroll Through East Texas

A leisurely stroll through the forests and savannah’s of East Texas truly is a very rewarding experience. Varied in topographic and geologic attributes, some areas boast plant communities and species biodiversity that rival world famous biopreserves

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The Back PorchBack Porch
Resource Conservation on Private Lands in Texas

Over 94 percent of Texas land is privately-owned or managed. The ability of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to manage and conserve the state’s natural and cultural heritage is tied directly to the strength of our partnership with private landowners.

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