Archive for May 7th, 2014

Conservation: Rare and Endangered Texas Plants

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Endangered Texas Snowbell; image by Chase Fountain

Endangered Texas Snowbell; image by Chase Fountain

This is Passport to Texas

We have a fair share of threatened and endangered plant species in Texas.

08— Actually listed endangered or threatened plant species, we have probably right now around thirty-two.

Botanist, Jackie Poole says Texas has even more rare species.

15— We maintain a list of the rarest species in the state, which is about 250. And then we have about another 200 species that are not very common, but not at the level of being endangered.

One of the rarest of the rare is Texas Wild Rice.

11— It only occurs in two miles of the San Marcos River and, of course, the San Marcos River, is within the city of San Marcos almost its entire length. So there are all kinds of pressures.

Pressures like recreation and development… but money and manpower through the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan benefits the species, which has only ever existed in the clear, warm, spring fed waters of the San Marcos River.

20— The only similar river in Texas, really, is the Comal River. And interestingly, the father of Texas botany – Ferdinand Lindheimer – lived in New Braunfels on the Comal River, but he never collected the plant. So, it suggests that it certainly wasn’t at his backdoor step. We think it’s always been in the San Marcos River and that’s it.

Tomorrow: getting to know Texas Wild Rice.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and funds diverse conservation projects in Texas.

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