Archive for the 'TPWD TV' Category

TPW TV – Steve Nelle: Biologist or Psychologist?

Friday, June 16th, 2017
Steve Nelle speaking to a group of landowners.

Steve Nelle speaking to a group of landowners.

This is Passport to Texas

Author and Hill Country Land Trust member Jill Nokes holds Steve Nelle in high regard.

He has this knack for connecting with people wherever they are.

Nelle, a natural resource specialist is part biologist and part psychologist.

Even though we’re trained in the technical skills of plants and animals and soil and conservation, when we go onto farms and ranches, we’re really more in the people business.

This is especially true when evaluating damage following natural disasters. The Texas Parks and Wildlife TV Series on PBS features a segment where Steve Nelle visits landowners, like Bill Johnson, affected by the Blanco Floods.

 [Bill Johnson] There was just devastation. The riparian area was stripped of all vegetation. With two big floods in one year, you get pretty down and you sort of feel hopeless almost. But he reminds you that nature is very resilient and it will recover.

[Steve Nelle] I’ll walk with the landowner across an area that’s been devastated and find a few good things. And you can show them how nature’s trying to recover and heal this area back up.

Catch the segment about Steve Nelle next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

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

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

TPW TV — CWD Response Team

Friday, June 2nd, 2017
CWD Deer

CWD Deer

This is Passport to Texas

The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, was discovered in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in an isolated area of far West Texas. Three years later…

2015 the sky fell out. They found a positive in a deer breeding facility.

CWD is a fatal, highly communicable neurological disease in deer. Ryan Shoeneberg is a wildlife program specialist, and part of Texas Parks and Wildlife’s CWD response team. The Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS features the team on this week’s show. Paul Crossley is a license and permit specialist on the team.

There is not treatment or cure. The only real management technique we have is containment.

This meant shutting down TWIMS—the Texas Wildlife Information Management Service—the central database used to manage deer breeding in Texas. It essentially halted the transfer of deer from breeding facilities, which affected people’s livelihoods.

Our job is to nip it at the bud. Find it like a cancer. Wall it off, and not let is spread out.

The team had the job of helping breeders get deer moving again.

We were essentially given a deadline that said, look, we’ve got to get deer breeders moving again. We’ve got to get commerce going again—by deer hunting season. I think it was 57 days.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife CWD Response TWIMS Reprogramming Team took action. Find out what they did this week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings. The Wildlife restoration program support our series.

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

TPW TV – Coastal Birds and Birders

Friday, May 12th, 2017
Birds and Birders segment coming up on Texas parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

Coastal Birds and Birders segment coming up on Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

This is Passport to Texas

The Texas coast is rich with bird life and year-round birding opportunities. Next week discover what all the fuss is about on the award-winning Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS, when ornithologist, Cliff Shackelford takes a group of birders to what he calls a “mecca”.

We are at Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary on Bolivar Peninsula in Galveston County and this is a mecca for birds, for water birds, for shorebirds that use the Texas coast.

[Alice Anne Odonell] Does everybody see the skimmer, going right down that very first wave? You can always go down to the beach and see anywhere from fifteen to thirty species of birds, no matter whether it’s in the spring or the hot summer time.

[Cliff] There are birds here for many reasons, for foraging for roosting and some are even here for nesting. This time of year we have least terns and Willetts.

[Birder] I see it. The least tern went back to the nest.

[Cliff] Oh good, good, good, yes excellent!

Coastal Birds and Birders airs next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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

TPW TV- Don’s Frog Pond

Friday, May 5th, 2017
Don Cash's frog pond.

Don Cash’s frog pond.

This is Passport to Texas

Don Cash is one of the producers of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. At work, he creates the shows. At home, he creates wildlife habitat.

As a matter of fact, when I leave here and head home, I have my own little nature preserve waiting for me.  This…is my frog pond.

Don, who lives in southwestern Travis County, started his pond about 10 years ago, first filling it with goldfish.

Now, the goldfish are really nice, but the pond attracts other animals as well. Every spring it seems every frog in the neighborhood hangs out here.

Don wanted to know how frogs find his pond, when the nearest creek is three miles away, so he asked Andy Gluesenkamp, Director of Conservation at the San Antonio Zoo, to explain.

Part of it is random chance, frogs finding it. But also, once a frog finds it, and there’s a male calling, other frogs are going to be attracted to that.

Andy says frogs aren’t the only ones using the pond.

When you build a fish pond you can expect other wildlife to show up. Birds will come and drink and bathe. Frogs will show up and breed and feed. And then snakes and other predators may show up and feed on those frogs.

Leopard frogs, Gulf Coast toads and myriad other critters call Don Cash’s frog pond home. And it’s featured on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show next week. Check local listings.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

TPW TV – Prescribed Fire

Monday, April 10th, 2017
Ignition operations on an RX-burn at the Matador WMA. Image: Verble Fire Ecology Lab.

Ignition operations on an RX-burn at the Matador WMA. Image: Verble Fire Ecology Lab.

This is Passport to Texas

The Matador Wildlife Management Area offers vistas of colorful rolling plains and canyons. Texas Parks and Wildlife maintains the beauty and balance of this 28-thousand acre natural landscape with the regular use of an ancient tool.

Right now they are preparing to light a test fire. It gives us a pretty good indication of what the fire behavior is going to be like. And since it’s a test, if it doesn’t work out, we can put the fire out and go for it another day.

Chris Schenck is part of Texas Parks and Wildlife’s prescribed fire crew. A segment about prescribed fire airs next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Team member, Derreck Holdsctock, says fire is an important, natural process.

Whenever you don’t have fire brush encroaches. The more brush there is, the higher the fire danger is going to be during a dry year. So the more fire you put on the ground the less the effects of a wildfire will be and the more controllable it will be.

Prescribed fire has many jobs. It knocks back invasive plants, returns nutrients to the soil, and promotes native species, creating a balance of cover and forage for wildlife.

Every time we do a fire I feel like we’re taking a big chunk out of our management of that area. And then when you come back three months later and you have all this tall grass and you have all the wildflowers out there, it just kind of brings it all together and you realize what you’ve accomplished.

Catch the segment on Prescribed Fires this week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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