Archive for November, 2012

Wildlife: Attwater’s Prairie Chicken

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Attwater's Prairie Chicken, photo by

Attwater’s Prairie Chicken, photo by

Passport to Texas with Support from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

Corporate America and sports teams depend on good recruiting…something they have in common with the endangered Attwater’s Prairie Chicken.

:07 — Historically, this bird went through periods of time when a population would be devastated, and then it would recruit from neighboring populations.

But they’ve had to change their recruiting tactics, says Mark Klym, Adopt-a-Prairie Chicken Program coordinator.

:02–Today those recruits have to come from the zoos.

Development destroyed the prairie chicken’s coastal habitat. We’ve gone from a million birds at the turn of the 20th century to fewer than 100 animals today. Currently Three small populations are maintained in the wild.

:21–The bird is being reproduced for release. We are confident that we have enough birds that we can maintain these three populations now that we have in the wild. But there’re biologists out there working with landowners every day trying to get land back in condition. And we have a number of landowners just
waiting and asking for release of the birds on their land.

Klym maintains the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken will continue to rebound, and not go quietly into that good night.

:08–We frequently get emails and calls asking when we expect this birds to go extinct. We don’t expect it to go extinct. This is going to be another good news story.

Learn about the adopt-a-prairie chicken program at The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV: Cooking Segments

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Chef Jesse Griffiths

Chef Jesse Griffiths

This is Passport to Texas

This Thanksgiving week is all about food. Starting with a head’s up about wild game cooking segments coming up on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show. Producer, Whitney Bishop.

65– We worked with bearded hipster, Jessie Griffiths. He’s a local [chef] food expert. He’s also an avid hunter and angler. And so we produced cooking segments with him where he shows you how to grill venison, how to fry redfish three ways, how to make teal yakatori, and feral hog tacos. So, why is it that TPW is producing segments on wild game cookery? Well, we’ve noticed there is really a growing interest in eating local food. People want to know where their food is coming from, so more people are getting interested in hunting and fishing … Jesse Griffiths is the perfect bridge between the hunting world and the cooking world. And, so what do you want your viewers to come away with? Well, in addition to actually showing you how to make the recipe, we go into a little bit of background about each animal that he’s working with; you get an appreciation for not just how to prepare it, but how it contributes to Texas. Where and when can people see these? These videos are all on our YouTube channel, we actually have a special playlist about Texas cooking. And then, they’ll also be on our TV show in upcoming months.

Thanks, Whitney

That’s our show for today’For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Wildlife: The Red Wolf in Texas

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Red Wolf, photo by TPWD

Red Wolf, photo by TPWD

Passport to Texas with support from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

The red wolf population once covered about a third of the southeast US, including Texas. By the late 1960S, the animals were nearly extinct.

07– The only red wolves left were in a little corner of southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana … and there were only a few of them left.

Russell Roe, managing editor of TPW magazine, wrote a story about red wolves for the December issue. Habitat loss, wolf eradication programs, and an influx of coyotes, caused their near demise. An Austin College professor, noting the decline, sounded the alarm.

28–Well, about the same time, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act, and the red wolf was one of the first species listed in the act. So, their first priority was to maintain the red wolf population where it was … even though it was down to almost nothing, and the coyotes were still moving in. The realized that was not going to work, so they decided, this last ditch effort–the only way we’re going to save the red wolf is by gathering them all up, putting them in captivity, with the hopes of reintroducing them in the wild.

Researchers had their work cut out for them, as the wolves and coyotes had interbred.

19– Once they collected what they thought were red wolves, they had maybe 40 they were pretty sure were red wolves. Once they got rid of what they thought might be hybrids, they were down to 17 pure red wolves. Of those, 14 were used in the captive breeding program. So, all the red wolves we have today came from those 14.

Learn more when you read the December issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program program supports our series… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW Magazine: December 2012 Preview

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Image from

Image from

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine is celebrating its 70th anniversary and Editor Louie Bond is here to tell us more.

60– We’re so proud to present this 70th anniversary issue; and we have some great stories in it by people past and present who have been involved with the agency and the magazine — including our own fearless leader, the Executive Director, Carter Smith, who has a wonderful little anecdote I thought I’d share with you. He said he started reading the magazine as far back as he could remember. He read his grandmother’s issues. And his grandmother finally bought him a subscription, and he said it was likely that she was so tired of him pilfering them. He said ‘Who could blame her? If I didn’t run off with her copy each month, I’d rip out pictures of deer and bobcat and West Texas mountains and coastal sunrises. My love affair with our wild things and wild places was in no small part shaped by that early exposure to the stunning wildlife photography and essays on all things outdoors. I still read it cover to cover multiple times.’ So, when you have a boss like that who supports your magazine this way, you can’t help but be happy to celebrate 70 years. And I hope our readers
will enjoy it.

Thanks, Louie

More information about the magazine and subscriptions at

That’s our show for today…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

State Parks: Camping Trends

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Camping at Palmetto State Park

Camping at Palmetto State Park

This is Passport to Texas

The outdoor industry association conducts yearly surveys to determine the state of the outdoors. And our State Park Guide Bryan Frasier says: the results are in.

66– And we saw that camping is trending upward — even camping in state parks. Almost half of these reservations for overnight camping were done inside state parks. And what was maybe the most encouraging news of all was that people with young children are more likely to camp and go outdoors — significantly more, in fact. So that’s great for the future of something that all of us hold near and dear who love the outdoors. And that is: taking families…taking children out there. Letting them connect with nature and see the world and the discovery that we have here..from the cooking outdoors and spending some family time. And to see these statistics and data and know that more people are enjoying that, and the mission that we have here at Texas Parks and Wildlife is being understood on some level by people and that they are really starting to this outdoor lifestyle: tent camping, RV camping, cabins — it really doesn’t matter what it is. Just a hike through the woods… but those things are growing and catching on in ways that gives us reason to be encouraged.

Thanks, Bryan.

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet, supporting outdoor recreation in Texas; because there’s life to be done.

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