Archive for the 'Shows' Category

The Problem with Aoudads

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Aoudad photo by Leroy Williamson, TPWD

This is Passport to Texas

Aoudads are causing huge problems for native Bighorn Sheep reintroduction. But, what exactly is an Aoudad?

Aoudad, which are also known as barbary sheep come from the Barbary coast of Africa and so they are an exotic that occurs out on the landscape. They can be very disruptive to the Bighorn herds as well as other native wildlife species.

Froylan Hernandez, the Desert Bighorn program leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife says Aoudads have adapted too well to the Texas landscape and now outcompete our native Bighorns.

…they can utilize the habitat uniformly without really preferring any one plant species. So, they will go, and they will station themselves in one area and once they eat it clean they will move off and go off to another and so they are somewhat nomadic in nature.

This is a problem since the agency and its partners is working hard to restore bighorn sheep to the very landscape the Aoudads have coopted. Texas Parks and Wildlife intervenes when possible, but Aoudads continue to present a problem.

Our goal is to get the Bighorns to a number, or population levels where they don’t require a lot of our intervention. They are still going to require some but certainly not a lot. But the only thing that can happen is if those Aoudad numbers are drastically reduced.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

Partners in Bighorn Restoration

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Working together to restore Desert Bighorn Sheep.

This is Passport to Texas

Restoring Bighorn sheep to the American landscape is an enormous undertaking.

Texas Parks and Wildlife and I form part of what’s called the Wild Sheep Working Group. So, there’s 19 state and Canadian provinces where some sort of wild sheep occurs.

Froylan Hernandez, the Desert Bighorn program leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife says reintroducing Bighorn isn’t a project we could undertake alone. The Texas Bighorn Society has been a huge driving force from the beginning of the restoration process.

We also partner with the wild sheep foundation, TWA, Dallas Safari, Houston Safari, and just numerous other organizations that we’ve partnered with to help the restoration effort.

Bighorn aren’t just being reintroduced to public lands.

We also have private landowners that have bighorns on their property and so critical that they allow us and give us access to go in and remove surplus animals to take them to other places. So, the private land owner is certainly a huge part in this thing.

It’s a massive project but Texas Parks and Wildlife, along with their partners, are up to the challenge. Results are promising, but there’s still plenty of work to do.

Our show receives support from the Wildlife Restoration program.

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

The State Bighorn Sheep in Texas

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
Bighorn Sheep release

Bighorn Sheep release

This is Passport to Texas

We almost lost the [Desert] Bighorn Sheep from the American landscape. What was the cause of such decline?

Primarily the introduction of domestic sheep and goats into Bighorn habitat. Diseases that domestic sheep and goats had that Bighorns had not been exposed to. Net wire fencing has also been associated domestic sheep and goat industry that prevented Bighorn movement. And then unregulated hunting.

Froylan Hernandez is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Desert Bighorn program leader. He is one of many individuals tasked with returning Bighorn to their native habitat and things are going well.

So what we are doing now is translocating free ranging animals into unpopulated habitats… we’ve been able to restore sheep to three mountain ranges that haven’t seen Bighorns in over 60 years in the last 8-10 years.

Bighorn still face many challenges, but the future looks bright.

Luckily we don’t have the problems that you see in other states as far as disease goes. And so we are not immune to that but we certainly don’t have those problems. But yeah, I’m very hopeful.

Things are looking good for Bighorn sheep populations but there is a lot of work still left to restore balance back to our Texas landscapes.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

TPW TV– Natural Connection

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Xochitl Rodriguez and Adrian Sabom.

This is Passport to Texas

The outdoors brings people together, as it did Xochit Rodriguez and Adrian Sabom. Xochit grew up in El Paso; the Franklin Mountains were her backyard. Adrien grew up hunting on her family’s south Texas Ranch.

[Xochitl Rodriguez] Adrian and I met at a Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation event.
[Adrian Sabom] I met Xochitl at the We Will Not Be Tamed campaign launch party, and we were talking about, well she has never shot a gun and I had never hiked the Franklin Mountains, and so it evolved into, we should each do each other’s thing.

Each woman visited the other on her home turf. Xochit ‘s visit to Adrian’s ranch started with a horseback ride.

[Adrian Sabom] After horseback riding, we went to the big event…
[Xochitl Rodriguez] The moment we’ve all been waiting for.
[Adrian Sabom] Xochit shooting a gun for the first time.
[Xochitl Rodriguez] This is the craziest thing I’ve ever done. I was really, really scared.
[Adrian Sabom] She was super nervous in the beginning. You could tell her hands were shaking, she was sweating.
[Xochitl Rodriguez] I shook after every clay, but then I finally got into the groove and felt a little bit better.

Share the full experience of both women when you tune into the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show on PBS the week of May 12.

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

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Celebrate Mom’s Day with a Picnic in a Park

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

pack a picnic and head to a Texas State park for Mother’s Day.

This is Passport to Texas

This Mother’s Day, take mom on a picnic in a Texas state park. Cookbook author, Angela Shelf Medearis, says the key to a stress-free picnic is planning and simplicity.

So, start your picnic a few days ahead. If I was doing a picnic, I would have something like a really good roast chicken; just cut the pieces up and pack those in there.

I do a Carolina Cole Slaw; you toss it up, throw it in the refrigerator – it gets better day-by-day. So, if you want to do that ahead, you could.

Use a lot of fresh fruits for dessert.

The thing about a picnic that I love is that you can totally unplug and really focus on the people you should be paying the most attention to. You can get out in nature; we have some beautiful parks. Some beautiful places to go in Texas.

And, it gives you a chance to really focus on the most important things: your family, nature, the beauty of life… So, do a little planning ahead, and pick dishes that will be fine hot or cold, and you can’t go wrong for a great picnic.

Find recipes for your picnic on the TPW website.

Our show receives support from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve.

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