Species of Greatest Conservation Need

1279 species
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Species of Greatest Conservation Need (Updated: 01/31/2024)
Common Name Scientifc Name Taxonomic Group Federal Status State Status Global Rank State Rank Endemic General Habitat Type(s)
red-crowned parrot Amazona viridigenalis Birds Not Listed T G2 S2 False Starting in the late 1980s to early 1990s, this species has increased in numbers in urban settings in Cameron and Hidalgo counties. This cavity-nesting species prefers dead palm trees, including non-native Washingtonian palms, with abandoned cavities excavated by Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. Grooming of palms (i.e., trimming the dead, drooping fronds) does not appear to directly impact this species; however removal of dead palms with or without cavities should be avoided.
Baird's Sparrow Ammodramus bairdii Birds Not Listed Not Listed G4 SUN False Shortgrass prairie with scattered low bushes and matted vegetation; mostly migratory in western half of State, though winters in Mexico and just across Rio Grande into Texas from Brewster through Hudspeth counties
Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii Birds Not Listed Not Listed G4 S2S3N,SXB False Wintering individuals (not flocks) found in weedy fields or cut-over areas where lots of bunch grasses occur along with vines and brambles; a key component is bare ground for running/walking
Le Conte's Sparrow Ammodramus leconteii Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S3 False Wintering: preference for tall-grass and mixed-grass over 0.6 m tall
Seaside Sparrow Ammodramus maritimus Birds Not Listed Not Listed G4 S4B False Year-round: Tidal coastal marsh, with large areas of sea ox-eye daisy and medium height smooth cordgrass for nesting, interspersed with numerous ponds, tidal creeks, and bare ground; marsh-elevation islands may be important with some shallow waterbodies and scattered woody shrubs; mosaic of burned and unburned (2+ year cycle) Spartina-dominated marshes
Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S3B False Year-round: Large mixed-grass and tall-grass prairie/grassland patches preferred; avoid smaller patches with low area to edge ratios; important to provide variety in seral stages with emphasis on intermediate
Northern Pintail Anas acuta Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S3B,S5N False Secondary bays, marshes, estuaries, flooded fields. Small ponds, reservoirs, slow-flowing rivers. Generally likes heavily vegetated shorelines but without trees.
Mottled Duck Anas fulvigula Birds Not Listed Not Listed G4 S4B False Estuaries, ponds, lakes, secondary bays.
Sprague's pipit Anthus spragueii Birds Not Listed Not Listed G3G4 S3N False The county distribution for this species includes geographic areas that the species may use during migration. Time of year should be factored into evaluations to determine potential presence of this species in a specific county. Habitat during migration and in winter consists of pastures and weedy fields (AOU 1983), including grasslands with dense herbaceous vegetation or grassy agricultural fields.
golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S3B False Year-round: Native grasslands, sagebrush, shrubland, savannah or sparse woodland, and barren areas, especially in hilly or mountainous regions; typically avoid forests, large agricultural areas, and urban areas; nests are most often on rock ledges of cliffs but sometimes in large trees
Green Parakeet Aratinga holochlora Birds Not Listed Not Listed G3 S3 False Year-round: Riparian and forested wetlands along the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo and associated wooded floodways in the LRGV; may also be found in woodland, orchard, and forested areas in this region
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S4N False Winter: Relatively dense grasslands associated with water (e.g. wetlands, wet prairie, marshes)
western burrowing owl Athene cunicularia hypugaea Birds Not Listed Not Listed G4T4 S2 False Open grasslands, especially prairie, plains, and savanna, sometimes in open areas such as vacant lots near human habitation or airports; nests and roosts in abandoned burrows
white-tailed hawk Buteo albicaudatus Birds Not Listed T G4G5 S4B False Near coast on prairies, cordgrass flats, and scrub-live oak; further inland on prairies, mesquite and oak savannas, and mixed savanna-chaparral; breeding March-May
zone-tailed hawk Buteo albonotatus Birds Not Listed T G4 S3B False Arid open country, including open deciduous or pine-oak woodland, mesa or mountain county, often near watercourses, and wooded canyons and tree-lined rivers along middle-slopes of desert mountains; nests in various habitats and sites, ranging from small trees in lower desert, giant cottonwoods in riparian areas, to mature conifers in high mountain regions
Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S4B False Year-round: Nest in contiguous, mature, closed canopy, wet hardwood forests
gray hawk Buteo plagiatus Birds Not Listed T G5 S2B False Locally and irregularly along U.S.-Mexico border; mature riparian woodlands and nearby semiarid mesquite and scrub grasslands; breeding range formerly extended north to southernmost Rio Grande floodplain of Texas
Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis Birds Not Listed Not Listed G4 S2B,S4N False Open country, primarily prairies, plains, and badlands; nests in tall trees along streams or on steep slopes, cliff ledges, river-cut banks, hillsides, power line towers; year-round resident in northwestern high plains, wintering elsewhere throughout western 2/3 of Texas
Swainson's Hawk Buteo swainsoni Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S4B False Breeding: Nesting in gallery forest, riparian, creek bottoms, woodland edges, Forages over open grasslands, arid shrubland-grassland, and agricultural areas
common black-hawk Buteogallus anthracinus Birds Not Listed T G4G5 S2B False Cottonwood-lined rivers and streams; willow tree groves on the lower Rio Grande floodplain; formerly bred in south Texas
Green Heron Butorides virescens Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S5B False Breeding: Secluded nest sites with adjacent wetland feeding habitat, e. g., edges of rivers and streams, swamps, marshes, oxbow lakes, ponds, human-made or human-regulated water impoundments (reservoirs, ditches, canals, and ponds); often nest on islands or tree islands in marshes; may nest in dry woods or orchards in farmlands if feeding sites are available within 1/2 mile; sometimes nest socially in loose aggregations or in colonies, but somewhat apart from other species; nests are usually placed over water in shrubs and trees
lark bunting Calamospiza melanocorys Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S4B False Overall, it's a generalist in most short grassland settings including ones with some brushy component plus certain agricultural lands that include grain sorghum. Short grasses include sideoats and blue gramas, sand dropseed, prairie junegrass (Koeleria), buffalograss also with patches of bluestem and other mid-grass species. This bunting will frequent smaller patches of grasses or disturbed patches of grasses including rural yards. It also uses weedy fields surrounding playas. This species avoids urban areas and cotton fields.
thick-billed longspur Calcarius mccownii Birds Not Listed Not Listed G4 S4 False Winter: TBPR (northern), ECPL (northern) shortgrass prairie to grazed mixed-grass prairie with some barren ground
chestnut-collared longspur Calcarius ornatus Birds Not Listed Not Listed G5 S3 False Occurs in open shortgrass settings especially in patches with some bare ground. Also occurs in grain sorghum fields and Conservation Reserve Program lands
Smith's Longspur Calcarius pictus Birds Not Listed Not Listed G4G5 S3 False Winter: Large patches of dense three-awn grass (Aristida) favored in areas of native tallgrass prairie grazed by cattle