Archive for the 'Conservation' Category

Talkin’ Turkey via Wildlife Restoration

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Turkey release.

Turkey release.

This is Passport to Texas

In the 1930s, it became evident that certain game animals were in decline due, in part, to unregulated overharvest.

In 1937, the Federal Government passed the Pittman-Robertson Act, thus creating an excise tax on the purchase of ammunition and hunting equipment.

Today, millions of dollars of funds generated by these taxes are used to manage and restore both game and non-game species.

One of Texas’ ongoing restoration projects involves the eastern wild turkey. Historically, the species occupied nearly 30 million acres in eastern Texas, but unregulated overharvest of both turkeys and timber led to their near extinction from that region. In 1942 there were fewer than 100 eastern wild turkeys remaining.

From 1979 to 2003, Texas parks and Wildlife Department translocated an estimated 7,000 wild-captured birds into 58 counties in central and east Texas, eventually seeing the population climb to 10,000–which is slow progress.

In 2014 the agency began a “Super Stocking” initiative, translocating 80 eastern turkey at a time at selected sites. Production and survival of the birds has vastly improved with this method. Thus, creating a brighter future for this big bird in Texas.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series and provides support for the translocation and surveying of eastern wild turkey.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Deadline for Big Time Texas Hunts Nears

Monday, October 8th, 2018
Big Time Texas Hunts Grand Slam

Big Time Texas Hunts Grand Slam

This is Passport to Texas

Hunters hoping for a chance at premium guided hunt packages through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Big Time Texas Hunts program have until midnight Monday, Oct. 15 to enter. That’s the deadline for the opportunity to be selected for these top shelf hunting adventures.

Big Time Texas Hunts provide opportunities to win one or more of nine premium guided hunt packages with food and lodging provided, as well as taxidermy in some cases.

The crown jewel of the program is the Texas Grand Slam hunt package, which includes four separate hunts for Texas’ most prized big game animals — the desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer and pronghorn.

In addition to the Grand Slam, there are several quality deer hunting packages available, as well as opportunities to pursue alligator, waterfowl, upland game birds, wild hog and exotics. New to the program this year is the Nilgai Antelope Safari in South Texas.

Enter online through October 15 at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website; it’s $9 per entry. You’ll pay a $5 online administrative fee, but it allows unlimited entries in a single transaction.

Proceeds from Big Time Texas Hunts support public hunting opportunities and wildlife habitat conservation in Texas.

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

Landscaping for Wildlife

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Wildscapes are beautiful and beneficial.

This is Passport to Texas

Whether you have an apartment balcony or large backyard, you can take simple steps to help improve habitat for wildlife. It’s called “wildscaping.” Texas Parks and Wildlife provides online resources to help Texans begin landscaping their property for wildlife. And, really, you can start small. As small as a pot of native flowering plants.

The information can guide you with things like creating a humming-bird or butterfly garden; you can also find recommended plant lists for your part of the state.

Even a small patch of butterfly attracting flowers is a great way to start. Speaking from experience… there is nothing more magical than rolling up your driveway after work to see your garden alive with butterflies. Makes me smile every single time.

Essentially, what you’ll want to do is to provide food, water and shelter for the critters that come calling. And the more of this wildscape habitat that you provide, the more wildlife you’ll attract.

One of Texas Parks and Wildlife’s urban biologists, Kelly Simon, wrote an informative book on the subject, aptly titled: Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife.

Also check out the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for classes, tours and demonstrations featuring wildscapes.

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

Sharing is Caring Concerning Pollinators

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018
#TXPollinators

#TXPollinators

This is Passport to Texas

Love bugs? Then participate in the Pollinator BioBlitz, October 5 – 21.

[We have] two goals in mind: to increase awareness about pollinators, and about the habitat that they require.

Johnnie Smith is with Texas Parks and Wildlife. Pollinators include bees, butterflies, beetles, moths and other critters that move pollen while foraging.

If you participate in the pollinator bio-blitz, you’re going to have an opportunity to observe pollinators at a site that you visit, like your local zoo or aquarium or nature center. And observe the pollinators that are there. Grab a picture of the pollinators you find, and you can post them onto Instagram. We’re asking all of the participants to use the hashtag #TXpollinators.

Post findings, on iNaturalist.org. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website, has pages dedicated to the Pollinator Bioblitz.

Where people can learn what pollinators might be in their area. Links to what might be blooming in your area right now—that’s hosted out of the Wildflower center—and then also, to be aware of habitat you have that supports pollinators. And if you don’t have habitat in or near your home, school library… We’re encouraging people to try and get organized in planting pollinator habitat.

The Pollinator BioBlitz is October 5 through 21.

The Wildlife restoration Program supports our series.

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

Help an Icon with Habitat

Monday, October 1st, 2018
monarchs

Monarchs enjoying a respite before moving on.

This is Passport to Texas

Habitat loss along its migration route may be one reason the Monarch butterfly is in decline. While feeding on nectar, Monarchs pollinate wildflowers along their route, which benefits our ecosystem.

There are two primary ways that habitat supports pollinators.

Johnnie Smith is with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

And one [way] is, the adult pollinators oftentimes feed on nectar of flowers. So, flowering plants that are a food source for the pollinator is very important. But also, is the food source that the pollinator’s larvae rely on as they’re growing up and becoming an adult. And so, that is just as important as the flowering plants that support the adults.

For Monarchs, native milkweed is an important plant. By cultivating them in our yards, along with other nectar and larval plants, we can all play a part in their survival.

There is no effort that is too small to be counted worthy. And there’s no spot of land that is too small to contain pollinator habitat. So, we really want to empower everybody—tht they can make a difference. Right where you stand. Right where you live—you can crate pollinator habitat, and help turn around this negative trend with the monarchs.

Tomorrow: the Pollinator Bioblitz, an event to build awareness to help all pollinators.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

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