Archive for June, 2012

State Parks: Goose Island Expansion

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

At more than a thousand years old, the Big Tree growing in Goose Island state park is the oldest coastal live oak tree in the United States. It was already five hundred years old when Columbus landed on this continent. And our State Park guide Bryan Frazier says the area around this ancient oak is expanding.

51—The Big Tree Ranch, which has historically encircled the big tree six acre property of the state park, will now become part of the state park. So, Goose Island State Park has expanded by about 70 acres. Ultimately this was the result of some dollars that became available from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and we’re putting those funds to use to not only add some more green space in and around the Big Tree, but also an area of habitat in that peninsula that goes out into the bay that’s prime whooping crane habitat, and one of the few areas where people can see those endangered whooping cranes. So, it’s a win-win for everybody. And Goose Island is historically a very popular park with Texans and Winter Texans. And so, it’s a great place to go to get along the coast for some birding and great fishing. And now, it’s even bigger and even better.

Thanks Bryan

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet, supporting outdoor recreation in Texas; because there’s life to be done.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW Magazine July 2012 Preivew

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

We love seeing wildlife in its natural environment… marveling at the beauty of migrating bird species, or the majesty of a 10-point buck grazing in the mist. We feel nostalgic hearing the sweet call of the bobwhite quail, and joyful watching the antics of otters splashing in rivers. Yet when wildlife inundates our urban environs, we’re not as thrilled. The July issue of TPW magazine is all about wildlife—wherever it’s found. Editor, Louie Bond.

42—This month we’re going to talk about wildlife. We’ll take a look at quail, whose populations are declining. We’ll take a look at bumblebees—those cute little furry creatures that flit from flower to flower. They’re not only adorable—they’re important to our crops. And out local bug expert, Michael Warriner, takes a long hard a look at bumblebees. We’ll also take a look at urban wildlife problems. Do you have too many deer in your yard? Raccoons in the trashcan? Maybe feral hogs tearing up your property? We’ll take a look at these problems and some possible solutions and look at how different communities are handling this problem. So, if you enjoy wildlife the way we do, please take a look at the July issue and see what’s new with wildlife.

Thanks Louie.

The July issue of Texas parks and Wildlife magazine magazine is on newsstands now.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and is funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motorboat fuel.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

“Misplaced” Wildlife, 2

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

If you live in an area where urban life and wildlife intersect, you may find baby animals—like birds or fawns—in the open, and believe they need your help. But as biologist Wendy Connally says: not everything is as it seems.

15—Maybe the baby bird is learning to fly, or maybe it’s about to be fed by a parent. Or, maybe fawns are placed there by the parents, and left for some time while the parents go forage and feed so that they can keep up their strength to raise that baby to full size.

Wendy recommends giving these babies a wide berth so their parents feel safe returning to them. But there’s another reason to keep your distance.

17— It’s especially important for animals that might be preyed upon by predators with teeth and a good sense of smell, that we don’t put our scent next to something that we’re trying to protect. Because those predators can smell that scent and it makes them very curious.

Predator curiosity may spell danger for baby animals. If you do come across a baby or adult animal that is clearly injured, contact a wildlife rehabilitator.

15— We have a list on our website of wildlife rehabilitators that have been permitted by Texas parks and Wildlife department. Typically those rehabilitators are focused around urban areas where we do see that interaction between wildlife and people more often.

That’s our show for today…The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and funds conservation projects in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

“Misplaced” Wildlife, 1

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

If biologist Wendy Connally has one piece of advice to share when it comes to finding wildlife in unexpected places, it would be this:

15—In those instances, unless the animals is physically wounded, bleeding, broken…it’s really best to keep your distance, maintain some peace and quiet, and allow that animal to be.

Animals rely on instinct…instincts, which at times, may place them in jeopardy, such as when crossing busy roadways for migration or seeking a mate. That’s when humans want to “help.”

19— For instance, if you see turtles crossing the road—don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Pull over on the shoulder of the road if it’s a safe and legal place to be. You can put your flashers on; that creates an awareness for people to slow down. People may see that turtle crossing the road and get the idea that you are trying to do your part.

Some people insist on taking a hands on approach when it comes to aiding wildlife, such as turtles, that appear to be at risk. If you must, Wendy Connally says: do so thoughtfully and safely.

13— Pay very close attention to where it was pointed, and where it was headed. And then you could pick it up and safely transport it just to the other side of the road, and then let it find its bearings and continue its path; and then wash your hands (laughs).

We’ll have more about “misplaced” wildlife tomorrow.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and funds conservation projects in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Ticky Business

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Texas tick

Texas tick

This is Passport to Texas

Summer means we’ll be spending more time outdoors—with the ticks. Ticks are blood sucking critters, and some may carry disease-causing bacteria which they transfer to their host when they bite.

Here are a few more things to know about ticks:

Ticks don’t jump, fly, or drop from trees onto your head. They crawl. So, if you find one attached to your cabesa that means it hitched a ride on your foot and traveled your entire body to get to your noggin. Feel violated yet?

Whenever you come in from the outdoors, a quick daily tick check at bath or shower time can be helpful in finding and removing attached ticks before they can transmit an infection. You may need to have a friend or family member help check your person…as those little biters can be crafty, disguising themselves as moles.

Deer tick nymphs look like a poppy seed on your skin. They’re easy to miss, their bites are generally painless, and they have a habit of climbing under clothing and biting in hard-to-see places. You know what I mean.

The easiest and safest way to remove a tick is with pointy tweezers—the kind women use for plucking their eyebrows. Do not twist–pull upward with a firm, steady pressure. Once removed, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water…and you’re ready for your next outdoor excursion.

We record our series in Austin at the Block House.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.