|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2014-05-28                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than three years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Burnie Kessner, 979-862-7341 or Burnie.kessner@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 28, 2014
Texas Students Place in National Archery Shootout
AUSTIN-- Two hundred and seventy seven Texas students competed for the shot of a lifetime at the 11th annual National Archery in the Schools Tournament.
"The journey to the National NASP Tournament is sometimes years in the making for these students," says Burnie Kessner, Archery Coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. "It takes the tenacity of everyone involved to get there- from the students and their parents, to the coaches and schools."
Several archers had a truly outstanding day when they placed above students from around the country.
Sam White, a ninth grade student at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, scored 297 out of 300 and came in at third place after a four-way tie-breaker shoot-off.
In a shoot-off for a college scholarship among the top high school students in the nation, White received second place and a $10,000 scholarship after a one-arrow shoot-off with the other competitors. The distance of the arrow to the middle of the target determined the winner of the scholarship money. The money ranged from $10,000- $20,000.
White was invited to be on the All-American Team comprised of the top 16 archers from Nationals. The All-American Team will compete in an event following the World NASP tournament in July against teams from Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Tania Sanchez, a seventh grade student at St. Mary's Catholic School in Sherman, TX., scored 291 points and received sixth place in the middle school girls division after a three-way tie-breaker shoot-off. She was the first place holder among the 740 seventh grade girls who competed.
Dakotah Mahan, an eighth grader at S&S Middle School scored 291 points and came in eighth place in the middle school boys division.
Kayla McCabe of Ennis High School shot a 288 and was the eighth best 11th grade girl among 321 competitors.
Rachel Gunter of Union Grove High School also had an excellent day, shooting a 286 and landing in 10th place among 430 other 10th grade girls.
Lamar Middle School's archery team from Lewisville, TX. won second place in the middle school division, following their first place finish last year at Nationals and second runner-up finish at World's.
"We are very proud of the Texas NASP students' schools that represented us in Louisville, KY.," says Kessner. "It is certain to be an experience they will all remember for the rest of their lives."
For more information about the National Archery in the Schools Program, http://tpwd.texas.gov/learning/archery/nasp_texas/.

[ Note: This item is more than three years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Cliff Shackelford, Clifford.Shackelford@tpwd.texas.gov; 936- 559-5795, Tom Harvey, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-4453 ]
May 28, 2014
Wildlife Experts Urge Safety, Cleanliness for Bird Feeders
AUSTIN - After a rise in calls about backyard bird illness, experts are advising people to regularly clean and maintain backyard feeders and birdbaths, use fresh feed and be cautious about storing feed for long periods. They also suggest landscaping with native plants that provide natural food and use less water.
"Feeders mainly benefit people; they bring birds in and make it easier to see them. So when we feed birds, we have a responsibility to make sure that what we provide is healthy," said Cliff Shackelford, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ornithologist based in Nacogdoches. "Native plant landscaping, such as with the Texas Wildscapes program, is like a feeder that cleans itself, consistently providing good, fresh food."
Various diseases can develop in birds that congregate around feeders, including salmonella, avian pox, Aspergillus fungus, and parasitic protozoans.
Bird seed can go bad after it's been purchased, while it's stored. Harmful fungi grow most rapidly in humid environments. People should therefore be cautious about using seed that they've stored for weeks or months, especially in a warm, humid area.
Also, research by the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2003 shows that bird seed purchased for feeders can contain aflatoxin, a fungus by-product that can cause diseases and harm the immune system, making birds more vulnerable to normally non-fatal illnesses. Corn and peanuts are more likely affected than other foods commonly provided at feeders.
This year, Shackelford said, there's been a concerning increase in the number of people calling TPWD reporting dead birds, including blue jays, cardinals and doves. However, he said there are common-sense steps people can take to reduce risks to birds, including:
--Store bird seed in a cool, dry area. Try to use fresh food and avoid using seed that's been stored at home for long periods. If you still have seed purchased last year, it's safer to replace it.
--Regularly empty and clean bird feeders and bird baths with warm water and soap. No harsh cleaning chemicals are necessary.
--Change the water in bird baths regularly, AND eliminate any standing water on your property to help stop breeding mosquitos and related health concerns, such as West Nile Virus.
--In addition to a feeder, provide a natural "wildscape" using native plants. This will provide good cover and food for birds and butterflies, and it uses less water and costs less. See the Texas Wildscapes web pages for a wealth of resources.
--Consider putting out seed only during the colder months, for two reasons: during the warmer months, Mother Nature provides a healthier buffet naturally, and research has shown that harmful fungus and aflatoxin can grow on seeds during hot humid months.
For more information about how to protect birds from aflatoxin and other dangers, see the aflatoxin in bird seed web page of the Wild Bird Feeding Industry, a trade association for the wild bird and backyard wildlife feeding industry.