Archive for the 'American Alligators' Category

Big Time Gator Hunt

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019
American Alligator

American Alligator

This is Passport to Texas

It’s hard to find a hunt that will make your eyes wider and your heart beat faster than looking for alligators in the swamps of East Texas.

American Alligators are a really a conservation success story.

Justin Dreibelbis [Dry-bul-bis] is the Private Lands and Public Hunting Program Director at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Their populations were very low not very long ago. We now have huntable populations in a number of different places and especially in the Eastern part of our state.

Managing those populations is necessary, and now you have a chance to participate in this conservation effort by entering the Big Time Texas Gator Hunt. One lucky winner and their guest will enjoy three days pursuing legendary alligators at the premier J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area.

With the Big Time Gator Hunt, the winner and a hunting guest will be able to enjoy a lot of time out on the airboat with the WMA staff. Be able to get assistance cleaning their gators and also get the opportunity to squeeze in an early Teal hunt, which is a cool opportunity there on the coast.

Like all Big Time Texas Hunts, food and lodging is provided along with on-site transportation and expert guides. To enter online, just go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website and search for Big Time Texas Hunts.

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

You Need Mussels to Make Pearls

Friday, October 26th, 2018
Washboard Mussel

Washboard Mussel

This is Passport to Texas

Though seemingly obscure, freshwater mussels play a vital role in a multi-million dollar industry.

There are at least 300 species of freshwater mussels in North America; Texas is home to more than 50 of those.
Freshwater mussel species are commercially harvested for their shells. Pieces of which become “seed material” for making cultured pearls.

More than 99% of all pearls sold worldwide are cultured.

Most freshwater mussel shells end up in Japan, Australia and Polynesia for the cultured pearl industry. Such a pearl begins with a polished sphere of North American freshwater mussel shell that’s surgically implanted into a marine oyster. The oyster identifies the object as an irritant, and begins to cover it with layers of iridescent mother-of-pearl. After about a year, it’s made a pearl.

Fifteen mussel species in Texas are listed as threatened at the state level. Six of those 15 species are now candidate for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Learn more about Texas freshwater mussels and get involved in Texas Mussel Watch on the Texas Nature Trackers page of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

How to Behave Around Alligators

Monday, June 19th, 2017
Alligator was caught in downtown Ft. Worth.

Alligator was caught in downtown Ft. WORTH in the Trinity River. The alligator hunter, Chris Stephens is from the Houston area.


This is Passport to Texas

With more alligators spotted by the public in residential areas, you might think you’d be better off selling your home. The fact is… there’s no need to panic if and when you see a gator in your neighborhood.

We’re just trying to help people put it in perspective. People will begin to see more and more alligators in the future and not every alligator is going to be a problem.

Greg Creacy is a wildlife biologist based in Bastrop. He says horror movies and attacks by the more dangerous, and non-native crocodiles have caused people to be afraid of Texas alligators.

The number of attacks by alligators in the US each year is less than injuries and fatalities from dogs, scorpions, snakes and sharks…all of those are much more dangerous to people than alligators.

So what do you do if you see an alligator? Keep a safe distance from them and keep pets away from them. Don’t swim in an area where there are alligators…and don’t feed them.

Because people have fed that alligator they’ve broken down their natural fear that alligator has for people.

Find more information on living with alligators on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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

Being Safe in the Company of Alligators

Friday, October 30th, 2015
American Alligator

American Alligator

This is Passport to Texas

The American Alligator may be one of the most fearsome creatures roaming Texas. We find them in slow-moving rivers, ponds, lakes and swamps–and even in our neighborhoods, which prompts calls to Texas Parks and Wildlife saying:

02- I’ve got an alligator here; what do I need to do.

Steve Lightfoot, Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesperson, says the first thing we need to do is to be realistic.

06-It’s alligator country, and we’re going to have more confrontations if we encroach on their space.

Chance encounters increase as we encroach on alligator habitat with residential and commercial developments. Steve Lightfoot says if you see a gator, leave it alone; it will move on. However, if one does become a nuisance…

23- If one’s acting aggressively, if its making threatening moves towards you–back away slowly. We’ve got a lot of tips on our website that tell people common things to do when you’re in confrontation with an alligator. Call our game wardens. We’ve got game wardens in every county–they’re used to dealing with these kinds of things. They’ll come out and assess the situation. If an alligator needs to be relocated–they’ll take care of it.

Find tips for peaceful coexistence with the American alligator on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…Cecilia Nasti

Unusual Year for Alligators in Texas

Thursday, September 24th, 2015
American Alligator, photo TPWD

American Alligator, photo TPWD

This is Passport to Texas

The American alligator is native to Texas and found primarily in the Eastern third of the state. According to Steve Lightfoot, 2015’s been an unusual year for this species.

11— More so because the timing of the flooding events that we had in May—right at the time when alligators are out. They’re doing their nesting and breeding. And so they’re active that time of year.

Lightfoot is TPW spokesperson. He says the flush of fresh water into Texas’ river systems caused alligators to pop up in unexpected places.

31—The number of calls we get at the department saying ‘We’ve got an alligator here; what do I need to do?’ Those obviously have gone off the charts. We recently had some video tape that showed an alligator in the surf along one of our popular beaches along the coast. And people were really concerned. ‘Oh my gosh! What if my kids had gone out there?’ Well, guess what. That alligator was doing what that alligator does. He was out there because the fresh water came down. Salinity levels were low. It was an opportunity for him to get out in the salt water and wash the parasites off his hide. That’s all he was doing. And he left after he got through with that.

And in places where alligators are a common sight: do not feed them, do not swim in waters where they they’re known to spend time, and if you leave alligators alone, they will leave you alone.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series. Through your purchases of hunting and fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels, over 40 million dollars in conservation efforts are funded in Texas each year.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…Cecilia Nasti