Monthly Archives: June 2011

South Texas Wildlife Conference

Texas Wildlife Association, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are hosting the South Texas Wildlife Conference. The event is scheduled for September 28-30, 2011 in Victoria, Texas, at the Spring Creek Place Event Center. The habitat management conference will focus on energy development and the future of wildlife habitat in South Texas. Much of the increase in the costs of Texas land for sale is because of landowner interest in recreation and wildlife habitat management, but there are also some other factors that many Texas landowners are finding out about, namely energy and mineral values from exploration companies.

The South Texas Wildlife Conference offers a rare opportunity to hear from a wide range of practitioners, land managers, policy makers, wildlife biologists, and wildlife researchers, about the future of energy development in the region and what it means for landowners. Habitat management sessions will inform landowners and other attendants about the latest studies concerning water, invasive grasses, habitat restoration strategies and general wildlife management techniques, as well as updates on issues that impact the precious natural resources found in this region. Wildlife conference topics include those with the greatest projected impacts: oil and gas, wind energy and uranium. Continue reading

Black Bear Sightings Increase in Texas

Black bears are native to Texas, but many residents have never seen one in the wild. That is all changing this year. It’s also causing quite a stir, becoming a wildlife management challenge for the state wildlife department. The increased number of black bear sightings in Texas this year is part of a larger story in West Texas, where black bears have made a comeback in the last couple of decades.

“We used to have thousands of bears in the state of Texas,” said professor Louis Harveson of Sul Ross State University. “They (hunters) used to hunt in the Davis Mountains and harvest eight a day.” But unregulated hunting, among other factors, drove black bears to near extinction in Texas, where they are still a protected species. But in nature, wildlife populations tend to cycle. Continue reading

Wildscaping for Wildlife: Texas Style Conservation

It’s a method of landscaping that is wildlife friendly, promotes native plants and it can save you money on your water bill. In Texas, it is best known as wildscaping, and at the heart of the practice is resource conservation. With drought impacting every corner of the state, native plant wildscaping could be just what the biologists ordered to help you conserve water while maintaining some greenery in your yard.

With temperatures rising and water low, it’s a bad time to be a water-dependent plant in Texas. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows Texas gasping for water under a dark red thermal blanket of severe to exceptional drought intensity, the third worst dearth of rainfall seen by the state in recorded history. But there is something we can all do. Studies have found lawn care accounts for over 50 percent of a household’s water usage! Enter wildscaping. Continue reading