Archive for the 'Water' Category

TPW TV – Guzzlers for Wildlife

Friday, March 3rd, 2017
Guzzler on the Black Gasp Wildlife Management Area

Guzzler on the Black Gasp Wildlife Management Area

This is Passport to Texas

A guzzler is a rain catchment device. Collected rainwater gets funneled into a tank that feeds a water trough for wildlife.

As we all know, animals need water. Our annual rainfall is only around 11 inches a year. So we’re trying to supplement that water during dry periods.

Travis Smith is a biologist at the Black Gap Wildlife management area in Brewster County. So is Will Rhodes.

We’re in southern Brewster County which is in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas.

They build and maintain guzzlers on the Gap—45 so far—and see to the needs of wildlife on the management area.

We’re in the Chihuahuan Desert Ecosystem. The area is 103,000 acres or a little over. Black Gap is kind of in the middle of nowhere.

Next week the men explain and demonstrate guzzlers on a segment of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

So this catchment consist of R-Panel in 12 foot lengths, which is connected to these 6 inch C-Purlins by…

Let’s stop there. Will’s going to tell us about purlins and pitch threads and storage tanks; it’s not sexy stuff. But it’s necessary when building guzzlers at Black Gap. And, so are wildlife cameras.

On these game cameras it’s triggered by motion. Usually that’s going to be wildlife coming in to get water from the guzzlers here.

Which means their efforts are successful. See the segment on Guzzlers next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV Series on PBS. The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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

TPW TV – Pecos Pupfish

Friday, September 23rd, 2016
Pecos pupfish

Pecos pupfish

This is Passport to Texas

In the unforgiving terrain of Far West Texas lies the Trans Pecos. Much of the aquatic life that’s adapted to survive in the waters of this harsh Chihuahuan Desert Region are found only here.

Because of lack of water and loss of habitat we have a lot of fish in West Texas that are threatened.

Such as the Pecos pupfish. Fisheries biologist, Ken Saunders works in West Texas monitoring the species.

So we have about three miles left of creek left in the whole state of Texas that has the Pecos pupfish in it. So we are going to be taking DNA samples and shortly we’ll be able to know whether we still have that fish here or not.

We join Saunders as he evaluates Pecos Pupfish during an upcoming segment of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV Series on PBS.

The science we are doing is really important because it gives us an idea of how the population of fish are doing. Are they declining? We wouldn’t know that if we didn’t come out here quarterly, throughout the year to monitor the population.

The Pecos pupfish is just one fish…in one area…of one desert. Why does it deserve our attention?

It’s part of the natural system, and every time we lose part of our natural system we lose part of us. It’s our world, if we don’t take care of it what are we going to have left….

View the segment on the Pecos Pupfish on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS the week of September 25. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Giant Reed is a Giant Problem in Texas

Monday, May 16th, 2016
Arundo donax, also called Giant Reed.

Arundo donax, also called Giant Reed.

This is Passport to Texas

Texas has its share of invasive plants and animals, including Arundo Donax, or giant reed; you’ve probably seen it along roadways and river banks.

13— If you see it on roadsides, it’s very tall—grows up to about 30 feet. Has segments, really broad, pointed leaves—huge showy plumes. It can actually be quite pretty. And it looks somewhat like corn.

Giant reed is a non-native grass. Monica McGarrity who studies aquatic invasive for Texas Parks and Wildlife, says its greatest impact occurs when it gets into areas along rivers and creeks.

18—They have these impacts because they’re able to outcompete the native plants and push them aside, displace them. And when we’re talking especially about riverside, riparian areas, along our creeks – diversity of native plants is really important to the wildlife, and for maintaining the overall health of the community.

When giant reed displaces native plant communities, the result is reduced habitat quality.

17— It reduces quality for birds and other wildlife. And then it can start to— over time – have impacts on the stream itself, and reduce the habitat that’s available to the aquatic community, and make it more homogenous, more the same throughout. Rather than having diverse pools and riffles and habitats that they need.

Monica McGarrity returns tomorrow to tell us how not to try and remove this plant from our property.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Conservation Leader: Tim Birdsong

Friday, February 26th, 2016
Tim Birdsong receiving an Employee Recognition Award for his work, from TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith.

Tim Birdsong receiving an Employee Recognition Award for his work, from TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith.

This is Passport to Texas

Tim Birdsong is Chief of Habitat Conservation for Inland Fisheries at Parks and Wildlife.

I feel like it’s my job as a rivers biologist here at Texas Parks and Wildlife to help people understand what would be lost if we didn’t take care of these resources.

He works closely with landowners to develop projects to preserve healthy, flowing waters in Texas.

Since 2010, We’ve entered into agreements with over 100 landowners to do stream corridor conservation projects to conserve these lands along these flowing waters like you see here. In my personal life, I love to get out and recreate on rivers and streams, and so I don’t really feel like my job is work. So conserving those natural resources is about conserving that relationship that I want to pass down to my own children.

Conservation is hard work for all involved, and can at times seem like one step forward and two steps back. But people like Tim Birdsong never lose focus or faith.

I feel like I’ve made a difference. I feel like the team that I work with has made a difference. I associate my work with not just conserving fish and wildlife, but preserving a way of life. If I can have a role in helping more people get out and experience the outdoors, or promote a way of life that’s going to lead to a healthier, happier society then I’m all for it.

Meet Tim next week in a segment on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show on PBS, Check your local listings.

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

TPW TV: Oil Spill Team

Friday, February 12th, 2016
TEXAS CITY Y OIL SPILL RESPONSE TEAM GROUP PHOTO

TEXAS CITY Y OIL SPILL RESPONSE TEAM GROUP PHOTO


This is Passport to Texas

On March 22nd, 2014 two vessels collided in the Houston ship channel. And that’s when the TPW Oil Spill Response team sprang to action.

[Winston Denton] There was a timing issue with an incoming inbound ship and a barge and tug crossing the channel.

[Steven Mitchell] The crew members started reporting that they had oil leaking from the barge.

[Rebbecca Hensley] We had about 170,000 gallons of fuel that was spilled into the ship channel.

[Don Pitts] Any large spill like this, we get notified by the Coast Guard or the General Land Office to come and assist in the role of Natural Resource Advisors.

[Heather Biggs] Since it was a large event, we did pull people from Austin, from Corpus, even down from Brownsville we had folks coming in to help us.

[Angela Schrift] We coordinated, figured out what we’d need. Got the materials together and got down to the coast as soon as we could.

Meet the team, and find out what happened next, when you view their story next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV Series on PBS.

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

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