Archive for July, 2007

Kerr Wildlife Management Area

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Wildlife Restoration Program

The Hill Country is the crown jewel of Texas, and the Kerr Wildlife Management area teaches landowners how to keep it polished.

We’re a 65-hundred acre wildlife research and demonstration area for the Edward’s plateau ecological area. And it serves as our experiment station for private landowners to come out and find out more about the basic tools of wildlife management.

Area manager, Donnie Frels, says landowners learn how to mimic the natural systems that keep habitat in balance.

Like wildfires and grazing buffalo. We’ve just replaced those types of actions with some manmade actions, with prescribed fire and a rotational grazing system. So, we’re still mimicking some of the natural systems.

While the majority of research at Kerr focuses on white-tailed deer, three endangered species on the site also receive thoughtful attention.

We have probably one of the highest densities of black capped vireos anywhere in the state. Golden-cheeked warblers are found on the management area. The third endangered species is the toe bush fishhook cactus. And we do surveys for all three of these species; and our management program benefits not only white-tailed deer but those endangered species as well.

The Kerr WMA is open to the public for wildlife viewing during daylight hours. Find details at

That’s our show for today… with support from the Wildlife Restoration Program… providing funding for the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti


Kerr Wildlife Management Area Contact Information

Phone: (830) 238-4483
2625 FM 1340
Hunt, TX 78024

Contact: Don Frels Jr.

Dates Open: Open year round, except closed for Special Permit hunts. The office is open 8am – 5pm, Monday – Friday.

Prairie Dog Towns

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Prairie dogs live in connected underground burrows called “towns,” which have been known to cover up to 1,000 acres of land!

These colonies are divided into social groups usually consisting of one male, up to four females, and offspring less than two years of age.

Pat Bales, San Angelo State Park Assistant Superintendent, says the animals are active only in daylight hours.

They’re most active during the cool hours of the day, during that time they’ll engage in the social activities- visiting, grooming, as well as feeding of grasses and herbs. And normally whenever they are out feeding like that, they’ll have a sentry and they’ll have a lookout.

And their mounds are built up high. They’re kind of unique little engineers. They’ll build one mound, end of their mound higher than the other, and an out hole. The reason they do that: it creates a high pressure/low pressure situation which enables air to continuously flow through there.

And down in the burrow itself, they’ll have little compartments where they can sleep, where they can feed.

Prairie dogs were indigenous to the San Angelo area, but various factors drastically reduced their population. But thanks to dedicated dog lovers – they’re back.

Actually, we have 2 towns- we’ve established one on the north side and south side of the park.

And you’re invited to take a Prairie Dog Tour at San Angelo SP on Saturday, August 4th. The program is free with park entrance fee. Find details at

That’s our show for today…with research and writing help from Loren Seeger…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti


August 4, 2007 — San Angelo SP — Prairie Dog Tour — Prairie Dogs once numbered in the tens of millions and ranged throughout the entire plains regions of the central United States. Park interpreter will guide you to a Prairie Dog town, interpret facts and tell the story of these little engineering marvels who had a symbiotic relationship with other animals and helped shape the landscape of the Great Plains. Meet at the South Shore Gatehouse. 10-11:30 a.m. (325) 949-4757.

Outdoor Stories with Barbara French

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Passport to Texas Outdoor Stories from TPWD

Barbara French is a wildlife biologist and science officer at Bat Conservation International (BCI), in Austin.

Bat Conservation International works to protect bats and bat habitat. We do education, we do direct conservation action, and we do it world-wide.

And French is on the front line of bat conservation. In her Outdoor Story she shares with us how she became passionate about bats and BCI.

I lived in Wisconsin for many years and then I moved to Austin in 1981. And it was not long after that that a friend of mine came and said ‘Hey, there are fruit bats under the bridge! Under Congress Avenue Bridge.’

Well, of course, it turned out that they weren’t fruit bats… they were insect eating bats, but I said I was very interested because I really knew very little about bats. So I right away wanted to go down and look. And I remember standing under the bridge and looking around and saying ‘Well, I don’t see any bats.’

And right at that moment they dropped down to start flying out, and it was just the most awesome thing I had ever seen. I was really captivated from that moment on. I began learning more about bats and a couple years after that became involved with Bat Conservation International.

Visit and share your outdoor story with us, and we might just put you on the radio.

That’s our show…we had help today from Loren Seeger…

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Texas Clipper, 3

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish Restoration Program

The first week of August, if paperwork and weather cooperate, the Texas Clipper will have a new home below fifty feet of water, seventeen miles off the coast of South Padre Island, where it will serve out the rest of its days as an artificial reef.

It could be a number of months before you see a tremendous amount of growth, but growth will occur almost instantaneously.

That’s good news for anglers and divers because it will improve the fishery and provide a unique environment to investigate. Dale Shively coordinates the artificial reef program.

We have sunk ships before using explosives and other devices. But, in this particular case, we’re going to use controlled flooding. So, I’ve been told from the contractor that once they start the flooding sequence, it may only take about thirty minutes for the ship to go down.

Divers will not be allowed to explore right away, though.

After it’s done, for the first forty-eight hours, we’re going to prohibit any sort of diving on the ship. That will give us time to inspect the vessel to make sure its safe – to do some preliminary type investigations on it, and to make sure that we’re to open it up to the public.

Find more information about the Texas Clipper at

That’s our show… with support from the Sport Fish Restoration Program…working to increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas…

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

Texas Clipper, 2

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish Restoration Program

Mark your calendars for August first. If all goes well – that’s the day the Texas Clipper officially joins the Ships-to-Reefs program.

The idea behind this project is to place a ship about seventeen miles off of South Padre Island for the purpose of enhancing marine life, but also as a premier dive attraction out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dale Shively coordinates the artificial reef program for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

We are designing it for diving. So, we’re making it very diver friendly. We’re opening up the insides of it, where the divers can go tour the inside decks, especially on the super structure. And, we’ve left as much of the ship intact as possible.

Once marine life starts calling the Clipper home, divers will have more to enjoy.

Organisms will start to settle on it; fish will be attracted to it just because it’s a structure. And then as the food chain develops and the microorganisms that grow on the structure itself increase, then you will see more and more fish.

And more fish means increased angling opportunities.

That’s our show… with support from the Sport Fish Restoration Program…working to increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas…

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