It seems more intensive lesser prairie chicken management is on the horizon as chicken numbers continue to decline across its range. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will host a public meeting on February 25 in Morton, Texas and a stakeholder meeting February 28 in Austin to discuss the draft range-wide conservation plan for the lesser prairie chicken. The plan represents a multi-state effort to conserve the prairie chicken and its habitat, and to address its proposed listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to publish a final rule on the status of the chicken in September. It appears that the “endangered” status of the lesser prairie chicken is definitely on the table. Continue reading
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program has launched a new, web-based interactive map with information about endangered species success in every state: stories of species making strides towards recovery, audio interviews and podcasts with Service biologists about on-the-ground endangered species management, and videos that highlight the Service’s partners. The site also has information on habitat management for conservation of endangered species.
The interactive map can be found online right here and also has links for the Endangered Species Program’s new weekly e-newsletter and ways to connect via social media. Continue reading
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. Continue reading