Archive for June 5th, 2008

High Island Recovery, 1

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

In September of 2007, Hurricane Humberto paid a visit to the Texas gulf coast, devastating High Island, located on the Bolivar Peninsula.

The winds were supposed to have been only eighty miles an hour, but it looks like we must have had some tornadic stuff happening, because we lost a lot of trees.

Winnie Burkett , sanctuaries manager for Houston Audubon, says much of the tree canopy on the island was lost.

An area like High Island that has a lot of invasive exotics, losing the canopy opens the ground up to sun, and the things like Chinese privet, which is one of our worst problems really like the sun, and they grow really fast, and they crowd out the native plants. So, what we’ve been doing is we’ve been taking out the Chinese privet and replanting with native trees and shrubs.

Interestingly, humans were more upset over the loss of habitat than the birds.

Birds are used to it, because they evolved with changes in habitat. They evolved with hurricanes. To them, habitat is habitat, and if we don’t have big trees they use the small trees. They con across the gulf, they’re very hungry, they’re very tired, they’re very thirsty, and they’re not as picky as they are at breeding season when they have to have very specific habitat requirements.

How Great Texas Birding Classic prize money is restoring habitat on High Island. That’s tomorrow.

That’s our show… we had help today from Tom Harvey…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.