Archive for April, 2014

Wildlife: Baby Mammals

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

TPWD staff photographer, Earl Nottingham, helps feed fawns

TPWD staff photographer, Earl Nottingham, helps feed fawns

This is Passport to Texas

This time of year, reports start rolling in to Parks and Wildlife from people who think they’ve discovered abandoned baby animals.

09—What could have happened is you walked up there, and mama ran off and hid – and baby is hiding there. And, as soon as you leave, mama will come back.

That’s not true in every case, though, says Jonah Evans, Texas Parks and Wildlife mammalogist. If you see an abandoned baby possum, for example, mom could be gone for good.

14—With 184 some odd mammals in the state, it’s probably pretty difficult to give you a list of which mothers will come back wand which ones won’t. So, what I recommend is before touching and animal – call a [wildlife] rehabilitator.

Licensed rehabilitators know animal behavior and can tell you which critters may benefit from intervention.

09—If you contact one of the many throughout the state – and there’s a whole long list of them on our website – they are really the experts in this. Not Parks and Wildlife.

Jonah Evans says although—as a mammalogist—he researches and studies warm-blooded animals, rehabilitators are the ones with skills suited to helping citizens’ where abandoned baby animals are concerned.

Find a list of licensed rehabilitators by county on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Birding: Share Sightings on eBird

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Bird watching

Bird watching

This is Passport to Texas

If bird watching is your passion, consider sharing your sightings with the world on eBird

03— That the Cornell lab of Ornithology sponsors.

Cliff Shackelford is Parks and Wildlife’s non-game ornithologist. With spring migration underway, who knows what you’ll see in the next few weeks.

26— And you can easily – on your smart phone or your computer – enter your sightings. You can even start with eBird by setting up your yard as a hotspot or a patch that you frequent. And it’s already in the system, and then all you have to do is you go and say, ‘Okay; it’s April 27th, and we had a black-throated green warbler, and two Tennessee warblers, and a chestnut sided warbler. And other people can see that and get pretty excited.

Of course if the hotspot is, say, your backyard, you may not want strangers walking up to your fence line with binoculars. You can be somewhat vague when inputting the location of your sighting, and still provide meaningful information to your fellow birding enthusiasts.

15— If you’re worried about people finding your secret patch, you can make it more of a broad brushstroke on the map, but still submit the data so people can say, ‘Wow. That was Travis County and they had all those great birds.’ So eBird is a real good tool.

Find a bunch of birding information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Birding: Field Guides

Monday, April 7th, 2014

On Galveston Island

On Galveston Island

This is Passport to Texas

Before long you’ll see treetops dotted with color. Flowers? Nope. Feathers! Feathers of migrating bird species stopping over in Texas. To know what you’re seeing, you’ll need a good field guide.

17— There are so many really good field guides out there. I always like to recommend the ones that cover the whole country, because that way you just spend $20 or so, and you’ve got a book that’s great for any trip, when you go visit California to Florida to New York or here in Texas.

Cliff Shackelford is Parks and Wildlife’s non-game ornithologist.

26— So, I really like the National Geographic Society’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America. The Sibley guide is very good. The Roger Tory Petersen guide is very good. And the Golden Guide to Birds of North America. So, there’s really three or four. And the neat thing is, is to buy more than one; have one in the car, have one at home, and have one at the office. That way, you see different depictions of the birds, and then wherever you are that book is going to be at your fingertips.

Find birding information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

10— We humans – we like to watch reality TV. You can have that experience out in your yard or at your local park, just looking to see what’s going on in the life of a bird.

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

Conservation: Everyone’s a Philanthropist

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Volunteering is philanthropy.

Volunteering is philanthropy.

This is Passport to Texas

The staff at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation brings partners and donors together to fund meaningful projects in Texas.

09— Projects like the pronghorn restoration program that we’re partnering with the department and Borderland Research Institute out in West Texas.

Wildlife restoration and land acquisition are just two of the areas the Foundation focuses its fundraising. Anne Brown is Executive Director.

15— I think anytime these days when you have multiple partners who commit to a project identified as a priority and then help give the funds or raise the funds that signals to the donor that this is a project that’s important to a wide variety of conservation organizations.

Brown says the work of the Texas Parks and Wildlife speaks for itself and moves people to support the cause with philanthropic gifts.

20— The word philanthropy is so large; sometimes people think philanthropy and they only think of it as a big gift. And I always like to define philanthropy as you’re either giving of your time, your energy, or your resources. And that’s all philanthropy. A five dollar gift is philanthropy. A five million dollar gift is philanthropy. And the time that you spend with an organization is philanthropy.

Learn about the work of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation in the April issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

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

Conservation: Funding Good Work

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Vintage photo: Pronghorn Restoration

Vintage photo: Pronghorn Restoration

This is Passport to Texas

We have everyday tasks to accomplish just to get by, but we also aspire to achieve things beyond the ordinary. Texas Parks and Wildlife has those dreams, too. And the TPW Foundation helps turn those dreams into reality.

03— Our mission is to provide private support to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to manage and conserve natural and cultural resources of Texas.

Anne Brown, Executive Director of the Foundation, says she and her staff identify potential donors who will make gifts to help fund the agency’s priority projects.

18— The first thing we do is we sit down with the department and their staff, and based on the direction they’re getting from the commission – what are important projects that rise to the top as a priority for Texas as a whole. And then, a part of that piece is also having partners. And then the foundation plugs itself in to raise those private dollars to make those projects possible.

Species restoration and land acquisition are among aspirational projects in need of funding. Strong relationships with partner organizations attract donors to the table for that purpose.

21— We have universities – typically on the research arm. We’ve got other partners involved, which s would be private landowners, or organizations similar to the foundation – private 501(c) 3s. And what we’re all about is leveraging those public dollars and private dollars. So, when you’re a donor, that’s a win-win.

You don’t have to be a big spender to be a philanthropist for Texas. That’s tomorrow.

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