Texas Wild-Rice Monitoring in San Marcos

The 2010 Texas wild-rice monitoring was a great success! In fact, over 35 employees and volunteers from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas State University, Texas Master Naturalists, Lower Colorado River Authority, Texas Department of Transportation and the San Marcos River Foundation participated in the wild-rice monitoring project. Texas wild rice is an aquatic, perennial grass found only in the upper two miles of the San Marcos River just below Aquarena Springs. The monitoring process takes approximately seven days and many biologist and volunteers to complete the task.

This plant species is federally listed as endangered because the river water is being impacted by the growth of the City of San Marcos and by recreational users. In the past, there has also been some impact from nutria, a non-native aquatic rodent introduced from South America.

Texas wild-rice has been monitored by Jackie Poole, TPWD botanist, for 21 years. Over 35 employees and volunteers from TPWD and other agencies, including Jackie Poole, monitor Texas wild rice on the San Marcos River in July. Habitat management practices include protecting the area and control of exotic mammals. Although the number of wild-rice plants looks good, the plant is rare and will remain on the endangered species list into the future.

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