Archive for November 20th, 2009

Endagnered Species: Texas Snowbell

Friday, November 20th, 2009

This is Passport to Texas

When the wind blows, its leaves shimmer, and in the spring, its beautiful white flowers bloom. It was this beauty that inspired J. David Bamberger to save the endangered Texas Snowbell.

Bamberger owns 55 hundred acres in Blanco County and is an avid conservationist. But one of his greatest success stories is the Texas Snowbell. In 1987, state officials estimated there were 87 Snowbells in Texas. Since then, Bamberger’s team has planted and maintained 682 more.

I spent five years going door to door, well ranch to ranch out in Edwards County, Real County, Val Verde County. And it took me five years to gain access to a ranch to look for the plant.

Once he did, Bamberger began collecting the seeds from the plants he found and replanting them on the ranches. But even with all his success, Bamberger says the Texas Snowbell will likely always be endangered.

Now the scientists are saying that they won’t be delisted until we have 10,000 plants. That’s never going to happen, never ever going to happen. I think they need to reassess that number because before we came along the reintroductions were basically zero.

Bamberger continues to monitor Texas Snowbells and conduct research at his ranch, keeping the Texas Snowbell alive and well.

That’s our show…With research and writing help from Gretchen Mahan. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.