Archive for August 8th, 2014

TPW TV: Winter Waterfowl Wonderland

Friday, August 8th, 2014

This is Passport to Texas

In east Texas near Palestine, the flooded bottomland hardwood forest at Gus Engling Wildlife Management Area is a winter wonderland for waterfowl.

06— It’s really a neat opportunity for the ducks that are here. We try to keep more water [in the forest area] and make things better for them while they are here.

Tucker Slack, a wildlife biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, says the diversity of ducks is outstanding at the Wildlife Management Area.

10—Normally the ducks we’ll see are going to be wood ducks. Wood ducks live here. You’ll see mallards, but you’ll also see pintails… ring necks…so there’s quite a diversity of ducks that you’d see here.

The bottomland hardwood forest at Gus Engling is in nearly pristine condition.

07—A lot of your bottomland hardwoods throughout our state and nation have really been logged and have had tremendous impact by people.

Slack says some wood ducks are year round residents; however, their population was once in decline.

14—It caused some concern, and one of the things it brought about was artificial nest boxes. So, the wood duck nest boxes were really one of the first large-scale attempts that people were able to make, and it’s really been quite a success story as far as the wood duck goes, and their population.

Wood ducks, and other waterfowl and wildlife, thrive in this untamed land.

06—It’s really important, for a lot of reasons, to have these wild spaces. One of them is for the animals, themselves. They need somewhere that they can call home.

See Gus Engling Wildlife Management Area and the wood ducks this week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife PBS TV Series. Check your local listings. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.