Archive for the 'Conservation' Category

#POLLINATORWEEK: Milkweed for Monarchs

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018
Milkweed

Milkweed

This is Passport to Texas

More than seventy species of milkweed have been recorded nationwide; over half of those are native to Texas. Including two that are endemic.

These are species that are found nowhere else but within the Texas border. One of them is called Texas Milkweed, which is found in canyons in Central Texas. And then we have a species called Coastal Milkweed that occurs roughly from the Houston area to just north of Brownsville.

Jason Singhurst, a botanist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, says milkweeds provide sustenance to the a delightful pollinator—the iconic monarch butterfly—during its migration.

So, here in Texas, we know certain species like green milkweed, antelope horns, broadleaf milkweed, and zizotes are some of our most abundant species that we’re seeing monarch larvae and adults visit.

Because milkweed species vary, do monarchs use each species in the same or different ways?

That’s a really good question. That’s something we’re trying to figure out in Texas. And that’s why we started this mapping project called Texas Milkweeds and Monarchs project—using iNaturalist. It’s an app that you can download on your smartphone. We’re using that project to help us identify different species of milkweeds across the state, and then also which species that larvae, or adult monarch butterflies are visiting.

Find a link to the Milkweeds and Monarchs project on iNaturalist at passporttotexas.org.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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

Not Your Grandpa’s Life Jacket

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Everyone on your boat should wear a life jacket.

This is Passport to Texas

Once upon a time, in the not so distant past, personal flotation devices were like big orange clown collars.

Those of us that are a little older, we always remember that bright orange collar lifejacket that would hang around your neck when you were a little kid. Those are a thing of the past.

And Tim Spice should know. He oversees boater education for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Right now, there’s thin, lightweight inflatable lifejackets that look like a little belt pack Or, one that you put around your neck like a scarf. [They have] a lot of buoyancy; more buoyancy that your traditional type III lifejacket that you might see a water skier wear.

Wearing lifejackets is more than a good idea, it’s the law.

So, we recommend that everyone wear a lifejacket when they’re on the water. But the law states that if you’re under 13 years of age, and you’re underway that you have to wear a lifejacket. Other than that, the law states: readily accessible, which means you want to be able to get it quickly in an emergency. The one thing that people forget is: in an emergency people start to panic, and they try to grab a lifejacket, and then it’s very difficult to put a lifejacket on in the water.

Find information on choosing the right lifejacket for you on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

Life Jackets Save Lives

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Everyone who goes on the water should wear a life jacket.

This is Passport to Texas

We’re on the threshold of summer; and what goes well with summer in Texas? Boating, of course. But before you get on the water, Tim Spice says: put on a life jacket.

A life jacket is something you wear that provides buoyancy if you jumped in the water or fell in the water.

Spice oversees boater education for Texas Parks and Wildlife. People make excuses to avoid wearing life jackets—including that they’re ugly—says Spice. But ask yourself this: is your street cred as a fashionista really more important than your life?

It’s one of the key components of drowning prevention. The Coast Guard estimates that 70% to 80% of the people who drown would be alive if they just wore a life jacket.

Tim Spice says, today’s life jackets are not the awkward, ill-fitting, boxy garments of a generation ago.

There are lots of new life jacket designs out there now. They don’t get in the way; they’re lightweight. Just really neat technology used today. Inflatable life jackets. And if you get into an emergency, or you’re not familiar with your surroundings—a lifejacket will be there to save your life.

“Life” is in the name, for goodness sake. Find information on choosing the right lifejacket for you and your family on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV- Goliad Paddling Trail

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Enjoying time on the Goliad Paddling Trail

This is Passport to Texas

Goliad State Park and Historic Site was the first park to host an inland paddling trail. The trail meanders along the San Antonio River.

It’s about 6.1 miles of beautiful pristine river. The site here in our park is the take out site. The other developed areas to get on the paddling trail is north of our park. So once you get to the park people have to get off the river unless they want to continue to float with no easy access to get off.

Brenda Justice is park superintendent. Next week the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS features the trail and the folks who love it, including Charles Clapsaddle.

The six and a half miles current trail I can make in about an hour and a half, most people take a little over two hours. We will go pretty close to downtown Goliad, a couple of blocks from the courthouse and you wouldn’t know you were near a town. You hear crickets and cicadas and birds, nothing that sounds like humans. It’s a nice friendly river.

Even people new to paddling will enjoy the Goliad Trail.

It’s a coastal stream so it has muddy banks. Grass and trees grow right down to the bank. You usually see a lot of wildlife because of that. It’s good for families. You don’t have to be a skilled canoeist or a kayaker to enjoy the river. Right now we’re just drifting, we’re floating on the current.
Get a sense of the Goliad paddling trail’s serene beauty next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

That’s our show…For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

There’s No Taming Adrian Sabom

Monday, April 30th, 2018
Adrian Sabom

Adrian Sabom

This is Passport to Texas

Lifelong outdoorswoman, Adrian Sabom, grew up on a working cattle ranch in South Texas. Her parents, passionate land stewards and avid quail hunters, raised her to respect and protect the beauty of wild things. Taking a page from her folks’ “parenting handbook”, Adrian exposes her two kids to rich outdoor experiences.

When they were little we would take them somewhere where you could go our and just romp around. And then we would take them to South Texas as often as we could, and go hunting. Two weeks ago we went down to see my parents and took [the kids] hunting; they love it. You’re out, all day long, and you have such good conversation where you can just talk about whatever. You just don’t get that opportunity that much.

Sabom encourages parents to share the gift of wild spaces with their children so that their children will have them enjoy in the future.

You know, if we live in San Antonio and we just keep them in the city, that’s what they’re going to know. So, we make sure we take them [outdoors] and do things, so they’re exposed to it, so then they appreciate it.

Learn more about connecting with and conserving Texas wild places during Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s We Will not be Tamed campaign. Find details at tpwf.org.

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