White Nose Syndrome is a ‘looming disaster’ for bats in Texas

White Nose Syndrome is a ‘looming disaster’ for bats in Texas

  • April 4, 2019
  • News

In the eastern United States, millions of bats have died over the past few years from a disease called white nose syndrome. Biologists across the country are racing to find a cure, or at least slow it down. So far there’s no evidence of white nose syndrome infecting bats in Texas, but the fungus that causes it is here. The question now is how much it’s spread. Cypress Creek is a clear stream that runs through Wimberley in central Texas.…

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Why native plants matter

Why native plants matter

Restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity. By creating a native plant garden, each patch of habitat becomes part of a collective effort to nurture and sustain the living landscape for birds and other animals. Over the past century, urbanization has taken intact, ecologically productive land and fragmented and transformed it with lawns and exotic ornamental plants. The continental U.S. lost a staggering 150 million acres of habitat and farmland to urban sprawl, and that trend isn’t slowing.…

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Judge rules Golden-cheeked Warbler should stay on endangered species list

Judge rules Golden-cheeked Warbler should stay on endangered species list

A bright-faced songbird of the Texas Hill Country still faces enough threat from population growth and land development in the San Antonio-Austin region to need shelter under the Endangered Species Act, a federal judge in Austin has ruled. Senior U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks sided with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week in a case centered on the golden-cheeked warbler, a 3- to 5-inch migratory songbird that only nests in around 39 counties in Central Texas. The Texas General…

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25 states took additional steps to fight chronic wasting disease in the past year

25 states took additional steps to fight chronic wasting disease in the past year

It’s up to hunters to comply with new regulations on moving deer carcasses and using mineral lures—but it’s worth it to stop the spread of CWD The Boone & Crockett Club, North America’s oldest wildlife and habitat conservation organization founded by Theodore Roosevelt himself, recently made a bold recommendation to end all human-assisted live transport of deer and elk. Based on the most recent science, B&C said this is absolutely necessary to prevent unknowingly relocating animals infected with chronic wasting…

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Game ranch fined for pesticide misuse in Hill Country bat cave incident

Game ranch fined for pesticide misuse in Hill Country bat cave incident

  • January 24, 2019
  • News

The Texas Department of Agriculture slapped a $1,200 fine on the Star S Ranch near Mason this week for two violations of pesticide drift at the Eckert James River Bat Cave last summer. The six-month investigation found the Star S Ranch, which shares a fence line with the bat cave, had used a Permethrin-based pesticide inappropriately. The 14,000-acre exotic game ranch applied the pesticide with a fogger and in a way that allowed it to make contact with people. Both acts constitute using the…

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Will exotics wipe out whitetails?

Will exotics wipe out whitetails?

Exotic deer were brought into the Texas Hill County in the 1930s. Exotic numbers began to increase rapidly in the 1950’s, with the birth of the hunting industry. Exotic surveys by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department began in the 1960’s. At that time, there were 13 species and about 13,000 animals. The last survey was in 1996. At that time, there were 190,000 animals and 76 species. According to the Texas Exotic Association there are now over 250,000 exotics. The…

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Weird, late monarch butterfly migration finally reaches Mexico

Weird, late monarch butterfly migration finally reaches Mexico

  • November 13, 2018
  • News

Migrating monarch butterflies finally made it to the Mexican mountains last week–late, but intact. For months, scientists and citizen scientists have been predicting the largest migration in a decade, but the insects have taken their time arriving at their winter roosting sites, missing their usual Day of the Dead arrival by almost a week, according to reports. Mexico’s Natural Protected Areas Commission (CONANP) said in a statement that the first butterflies of the season were “crossing the sky” at Chincua and…

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We have to save the planet. So I’m donating $1 billion.

We have to save the planet. So I’m donating $1 billion.

WILSON, Wyo. — Plant and animal species are estimated to be disappearing at a rate 1,000 times faster than they were before humans arrived on the scene. Climate change is upending natural systems across the planet. Forests, fisheries and drinking water supplies are imperiled as extractive industries chew further into the wild. But there is another, encouraging side to this depressing story: how a simple idea, born in the United States in the 19th century and now racing around the…

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TPWD addresses concerns about fish, aquatic habitat after heavy flooding in Central Texas

TPWD addresses concerns about fish, aquatic habitat after heavy flooding in Central Texas

AUSTIN – As flood waters recede in the Llano, Colorado, Pedernales and other central Texas rivers, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists are fielding questions from anglers and other members of the public concerning the impacts of flooding on fish populations. Although TPWD biologists do not expect to see a negative impact on fish populations in these rivers as a direct result of the flooding, the long-term outlook depends on how riverside landowners and communities respond to the aftermath…

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Blanco River named 2018 “Water To Watch” by National Fish Habitat Partnership

The Blanco River is one of the primary river networks that Central Texas communities depend upon for drinking water, flood abatement, agricultural production and recreation. Thanks to collaborative conservation work conducted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), landowners and other local partners, the Blanco River was named one of 20 “Waters to Watch” by the National Fish Habitat Partnership in 2018. The “Waters to Watch” are voluntary, locally-driven projects representing some of the top conservation activities in progress implemented by…

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