Our Wild Texas - June 2017

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Black Triangles

Dance of the Waterbirds

heron and spoonbill


Waterbirds like herons, egrets and spoonbills bring Texas a taste of the tropics with their stilt-like legs, exotic plumage and graceful bearing. There are 26 types of colonial waterbirds that spend at least part of the year along our coast. They nest together in large, noisy groups called rookeries – take a peek at one in this video. 

To see these unusual birds in the wild, use the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail maps. These driving maps make it easy by listing which birds you’ll most likely see where.

Loss of habitat is the biggest threat to waterbirds. One way you can help them is to buy a $25 Federal Duck Stamp. Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, home to the endangered whooping crane, was purchased with duck stamp money when there were only about 15 whooping cranes left. Today there are more than 300.

Summertime Is Bat-viewing Time

bat viewing

This summer, plan a visit to one of the sites in Texas where you can watch huge colonies of bats stream out of a cave or bridge. They awaken at dusk, then fly out in groups to feed on insects. The world's largest bat colony is Bracken Cave, near San Antonio. It has about 15 million bats – more than twice the number of people in Austin, Dallas, Ft Worth, Houston and San Antonio combined! Check out this video for 10 bat-viewing tips

Bat-watching guide

bat house

The fungus which causes white-nose syndrome, a disease that kills many types of bats, was recently found in Texas for the first time. If you enter caves, be sure to decontaminate your gear afterward to avoid spreading this fungus. You can also help our bats by building or buying bat houses and installing them on your property. To see thousands of bats fly out of a cave is a thrilling experience, but so is seeing 10 fly out of your bat house!

Build a bat house

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Our 2017 Lone Star Land Stewards 

cattle by mesa


Wildlife needs good habitat with a water source to survive. Since 95% of Texas land is privately held, landowner management practices are vital to the conservation of our wildlife, land and water. Each year we partner with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and sponsors like Sand County Foundation and Toyota to reward remarkable conservation work by landowners at the Lone Star Land Steward Awards.

This year, there were 7 ecoregion winners and the Dixon Water Foundation received the special Leopold Conservation Award. Dixon’s mission is to create healthy watersheds through land management. They’ve found success with careful livestock grazing and believe that by using that tool, Texans, and our wildlife, can have enough water for the present and future. Learn more about their holistic approach in this video.

If you know a landowner that has made a difference in natural resource conservation and land management, we invite you to nominate them for a Lone Star Land Steward award. 

Rivers plate conservation

Thanks to the following sponsors and partners:

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