Monthly Archives: July 2011

Black Bear in Del Rio – Comstock Texas

Although most people do not realize it, the American black bear is found throughout North America, including the state of Texas. Black bear use habitats ranging from swamps to desert scrub, which is exactly where the bear recently spotted in West Texas lives. Black bear are seen quite often between Del Rio, Comstock, even as far east as Junction, and all the way west to Alpine and the city of El Paso.

Most black bears are found in forests, but they are omnivores and can make it anywhere. At least two subspecies of black bear are thought to occur in Texas: the Mexican Black Bear (Ursus americanus eremicus) and the New Mexico Black Bear (subspecies U. a. amblyceps). Both are found in West Texas in desert scrub or woodland habitats within scattered mountain ranges, predominantly the Chisos and Guadalupe Mountains. In addition, both subspecies of black bear are state-listed as endangered in Texas. Continue reading

Texas Prescribed Burn Workshops for Habitat Management

Fire has long been an ecologically important factor in Texas, and more recently landowners and wildlife managers have been using prescribed burns as an effective wildlife and habitat management technique. Currently, a prescribed burn workshop is accepting applications for participants interested in learning more about prescribed fire. The course teaches attendees how to use prescribed fire as a tool for land management. The participant will gain an understanding of fire effects and how to use fire in a safe manner to accomplish certain habitat management objectives.

In addition, the course combines lecture, group discussion, teamwork, individual projects and field work to increase each student’s knowledge of fire weather, fire behavior, physical properties and characteristics of fuels, and the effects of fire on habitat, wildlife and soils. Students will become aware of the risks associated with prescribed burning, including smoke risks and the risk of fire escape. Laws pertaining to the use of prescribed fire and their influence on a burn manager’s planning and decisions will be explained. Continue reading