Rare Central Texas songbird to fly off endangered species list

Rare Central Texas songbird to fly off endangered species list

  • April 16, 2018
  • News

The population of the black-capped vireo, a rare Texas songbird, has recovered to such an extent that it will be moved off the endangered species list, U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials are expected to announce today. The lifting of habitat protections for the black-capped vireo, long a buffer against development in Central Texas, is unlikely to open long-restricted areas to construction or road building, given the number of other species that remain protected. Property rights groups had urged the move while…

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Fungus that causes deadly bat disease spreads to Central Texas

Fungus that causes deadly bat disease spreads to Central Texas

  • April 4, 2018
  • News

The fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats, detected for the first time in Texas in early 2017 in the Panhandle, has now spread into Central Texas. Though no bat deaths have been attributed to WNS in Texas, the syndrome has killed millions of bats in the eastern parts of the United States, raising national concern. A coalition of groups in Texas is continuing work to monitor the spread of the disease. The fungus was detected at several sites…

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Tax valuation for songbirds?

Tax valuation for songbirds?

Anyone interested learning more about requirements and best practices for Wildlife Tax Valuation can attend a two-part Wildlife Tax Valuation Workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne. Click here for more information. Presenters include Rufus Stephens, author of Attracting Birds in the Texas Hill Country, and Dr. Elizabeth Bates, wildlife biologist for Texas Parks & Wildlife. The comprehensive program guides landowners through the requirements and best practices for…

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Panhandle Roadkill White-tailed Deer Tests Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

A roadkill white-tailed deer collected by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel on U.S. Highway 87 between Dalhart and Hartley has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. This marks the first discovery of CWD in a Texas roadkill and the first case in a Texas Panhandle whitetail. “The roadkill was found along the border between the current CWD Containment Zone and Surveillance Zone, and as a result will likely necessitate a precautionary expansion of the Containment Zone,” said Dr. Bob…

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States Confront the Spread of a Deadly Disease in Deer

States Confront the Spread of a Deadly Disease in Deer

  • January 17, 2018
  • News

On the edge of a south-central Montana village, where deer hunting is a way of life, the game check station has become the front line of the state’s efforts to stop the spread of a deadly infection known as chronic wasting disease. It has ravaged deer herds throughout the United States and Canada and forced the killing of thousands of infected animals in 24 states and three Canadian provinces. It has also been found in Norway and South Korea. With…

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Using the Airbnb Model to Protect the Environment

Using the Airbnb Model to Protect the Environment

As the world’s population grows, so does demand for land. One upshot is that setting aside big tracts to protect endangered species and carbon-rich forests is increasingly expensive. Enter the Airbnb economic model. While it’s not a panacea, it provides attractive solutions for conservation as well as housing. Much as homeowners can use Airbnb and other services to turn their living space into pop-up hotels when demand warrants it, conservationists are creating “pop-up nature reserves” on idle land… Read more…

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity  to Help Wildlife and Business in Texas and the Hill Country

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity to Help Wildlife and Business in Texas and the Hill Country

  • December 21, 2017
  • News

With fish and wildlife populations under increasing pressure in Texas and throughout the country, Texans are hailing a new opportunity to reverse this trend. House bill 4647, known as the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, would provide $1.3 billion annually from existing federal revenues for state-led projects to improve and restore fish and wildlife habitats, without any increase in taxes. This federal legislation represents a once in a generation opportunity to modernize conservation funding, provide more regulatory certainty for business and…

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Humans at fault for many nuisance species spoiling state’s environment

We should have our hands slapped over some of the things we’ve done in this state by letting plants and animals run wild. Think about it: We now have tens of thousands, probably more, of exotics — axis deer, black bucks, fallows, oryx, etc. — throughout the Hill Country. And while they do offer some income potential for landowners, they also swiftly overwhelm native animals such as whitetails and the habitat on which they live. We have zebra mussels in…

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Whither the Warbler’s habitat?

Whither the Warbler’s habitat?

Comal County is one of the top 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States, and a loose coalition of concerned residents and activist groups think it is time for residents to start thinking about protecting open space and acquiring park land – “Before it’s too late.” At Land Conservation Options for Comal County, a panel discussion Nov. 8 at the McKenna Events Center in New Braunfels, Katherine Romans, executive director of Hill Country Alliance; Annalisa Peace of Greater Edwards Aquifer…

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Revenge of the Wild Pigs Goes Toxic

Revenge of the Wild Pigs Goes Toxic

  • November 16, 2017
  • News

The wild pig bomb perpetually explodes. Shoot, trap, pressure and push, but the march of wild pigs continues across the United States. However, a chemical cavalry is approaching and may provide a major weapon in the control arsenal used by landowners and farmers: Kill the ultimate beast of survival with a poison pill? Sodium nitrite is no magic pill, but it’s a heavy-duty toxicant capable of suffocating a wild pig from the inside out. A single-dose poison, it be can…

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