|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2019-10-04                                    |
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[ Note: This item is 14 days old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Oct. 4, 2019
Zaragoza Birthplace State Historic Site Unveils New Exhibits Oct. 4
GOLIAD-- Join the Zaragoza Birthplace State Historic Site staff as they unveil the vibrant, new exhibits displaying the Mexican hero's birth, life and culture.
The new exhibit interpretive themes include the rich cultural diversity of Texas past and present, the power of a committed individual and the cooperative spirit of an international community rooted in a shared past.
Zaragoza was born in the home in 1829 when it was a province of Mexico. He was the son of a Mexican military family and spent his first few years in Texas. He grew up in present day northern Mexico after the Texas war for independence. Zaragoza is famous for his rise in the ranks of the Mexican army where he commanded the army at the Battle of Puebla.
On May 5, 1862, against all odds, Zaragoza's forces defeated the invading French army which continues to be celebrated across Mexico and Texas as Cinco de Mayo.
For more information about Zaragoza Birthplace State Historic Site, visit the parks' webpage.

[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Oct. 4, 2019
Catch the Buzz with Texas' Fourth Annual Pollinator BioBlitz
AUSTIN -- For the next two weeks, Texans are invited to take part in the fourth statewide Pollinator BioBlitz. The goal of the BioBlitz, which runs from Oct. 4-20, is to raise awareness of the diversity and importance of pollinators while bringing greater attention to the critical habitat needs of monarchs and native pollinators across the state.
In support of the event, organizations and sites around the state will be hosting a variety of events to get people outdoors to observe pollinators of all types in yards, natural areas, gardens, parks and community centers. Of course, you don't have to visit a particular site to participate; your very own yard or green space will do.
"Documented declines in insect populations, particularly pollinators, have brought to the forefront the need to better understand these species and the support they provide Texas rangelands, agriculture and native ecosystems," says Ross Winton, invertebrate biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "Texas is home to thousands of pollinator species from the iconic monarch down to the smallest solitary bee."
Citizen scientists involved in projects like this help us gather data on Texas species and the plant communities they are connected to, Winton adds. This helps us learn not only what we have in our great state but also what we need to strive to protect.
The BioBlitz is designed to be fun for all ages, with no experience required. Participants are simply asked to look for pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and moths, as well as nectar-producing plants; photograph or take video of them; and share their discoveries online via Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #TXPollinators. Plant and insect species may be difficult to identify, so observers are encouraged to post what they know. For example, "Striped bee on Turk's cap in Mission, Texas" is fine.
Participants are encouraged to take it a step further and help increase the amount of data collected during the peak of fall migration by becoming a citizen scientist. Anyone can sign up and record their observations through the iNaturalist application on their phones or home computers. All pollinators and flowering plants posted between Oct. 4-20 will automatically be included in the 2019 Texas Pollinator BioBlitz Project at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/2019-texas-pollinator-bioblitz. There is no cost to participate and the only tools needed are a camera or smartphone and internet access.
In addition to the monarch, 30 species of pollinators have been designated as "Species of Greatest Conservation Need" by TPWD. Native butterflies, bees, moths, bats, hummingbirds, wasps, flies and beetles are essential to healthy ecosystems and sustain native plant species, human food crops and crops for livestock.
To learn more about the importance of pollinators, sign up to be counted, and locate events across the state, visit the Texas Pollinator BioBlitz website at www.tpwd.texas.gov/pollinators.
Participants can also sign up for weekly email updates during the event that will add to the excitement as everyone works together to increase awareness of our pollinators and the availability of their habitat.
Join event partners TPWD, National Butterfly Center, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, National Wildlife Federation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as we celebrate the importance of pollinators.
It's easy to get involved. Individuals and families, schools and clubs are all asked to join, observe, identify and share. At this time of year, cooler temperatures across the state also alert bees to eat as much as they can before hibernation begins, so it's the perfect time to photograph, post and record the insects you see while enjoying the great outdoors.
To view a video news report about the Pollinator BioBlitz, visit https://youtu.be/IamRvnr7218.

[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
Oct. 4, 2019
Neighborhood Fishin' Program in Abilene Coming to an End, Remaining Stockings Diverted to Cal Young Park
ABILENE - Catfish stockings scheduled for this fall to support the Neighborhood Fishin' Program in the Abilene-area are being moved to Cal Young Park Lake from Grover Nelson Small Pond for the rest of the 2019 stocking season. At the conclusion of the program's catfish stocking season, which is Nov. 1, the Neighborhood Fishin' Program will be ending in Abilene. These changes are being made because of ongoing water quality and depredation issues at Grover Nelson Small Pond and the decision to end the program was a mutual decision between the city and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
"Since 2014 we have partnered with the City of Abilene to provide high-quality fishing opportunities at the Grover Nelson Small Pond Neighborhood Fishin' site," said Michael Homer, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries District Biologist for Abilene. "The decision to end the Neighborhood Fishin' program at Grover Nelson Park was difficult, but the pond's water level, poor oxygen availability, and depredation on stocked fish by cormorants and pelicans have been problematic to the fishery for some time. Our team will continue to work with our partner, City of Abilene Parks and Recreation, in an effort to improve conditions at the Grover Nelson ponds."
Anglers hoping to land their first catfish or catch a few more before the weather starts cooling down still have plenty of time as hundreds of catfish are scheduled to be stocked at Cal Young Park Lake on Oct. 4, Oct. 18 and Nov. 1.
"Cal Young Park Lake is close to Grover Nelson Park (about one mile up the road), and it has plentiful shoreline access for anglers to use, the park features other great amenities for families including children's playgrounds, a disc golf course and has plenty of restrooms and parking," Homer said.
In Texas, children under 17 fish for free, but a fishing license is required for adults in the family.
An angler fishing in a community fishing lake may keep up to five catfish per day. Fishing is limited to pole and line only using no more than two poles per angler.
For more catfish angling tips, along with other stocking locations and dates, visit the TPWD website online.