Our Wild Texas – October 2022

View as a Webpage
black header text and logo

Bringing Back Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep on rocks, video link

Desert bighorn sheep climbed mountains, butted heads and roamed Southwest Texas until the 1960s, when they disappeared due to illness caught from domestic sheep and unregulated hunting. Now, through restocking and wildlife management programs with our partners, more than 1,500 bighorns run wild in our state once again – and their restoration continues.

Find out more about bighorns in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Texas' Bighorns Sheep on the Rebound. Then see what it's like to capture and relocate these magnificent animals in our video Return of the Desert Bighorn

Make Your Yard Firefly-friendly

Firefly lit up as it flies from a hand

Whether you call them fireflies or lightning bugs, you may have seen crowds of these flashy insects put on a light show in May and June, just as it's getting dark.

You may have also noticed there aren't as many around. This is due to pesticide use and the lack of fallen wood and leaves that firefly larvae need to survive. But if you have a yard, you may be able to convince them to move in by making it firefly-friendly

Once fireflies are established in a safe habitat, they should reappear every year. Find out more about the fascinating firefly in the magazine story Flashes in the Dark

Grow Perennials for Wildlife

Common buckeye on shrubby boneset, video link

Common buckeye butterfly on shrubby boneset

Bring butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators to your garden year after year by growing flowering perennials to attract them. 

Sept.-Nov. is the best time to plant, so check the list of native Texas perennials  (sort by location, etc.) for ideas, or try these 3 wildlife-favorites:

hummingbird approaches Turk's cap flower, video link

Female hummingbird and Turk's cap

Turk's cap – a hummingbird favorite and will flower in partial shade.

Gregg's mistflower – blooms spring to frost, attracts a variety of butterflies

Shrubby boneset – fall bloomer and a magnet for migrating monarchs and more. Watch our video Pollinator Party for proof! 

The Tough-as-Texas Roadrunner

Roadrunner, video link

The first roadrunner you saw may have been in a cartoon, famous for its "meep-meep!" and quick getaway. Real-life roadrunners actually make clicking sounds and coo, but they can run up to 20 MPH – pretty quick for a bird. They're about 2 feet tall, and while not known for taking on coyotes like their cartoon counterpart, they have been spotted eating rattlesnakes! 

You'll find greater roadrunners throughout the state. Try and spot one of these tough Texans by checking iNaturalist for recent roadrunner sightings nearby. Then show your roadrunner love by purchasing a roadrunner license plate! Brand new in 2022, $22 of the $30 cost goes to support wildlife tourism and conservation. 

The Pollinator Bioblitz Kicks Off Oct. 7

bee on passion flower, video link

One of the best events of fall is the Texas Pollinator Bioblitz. Join in by taking photos of pollinators, and then post them on social media or iNaturalist with #TxPollinators. There are many ways to participate – like signing up for emailed prompts, or joining events near you.

The Pollinator Bioblitz runs Oct. 7-23. It's fun, it's free and we'll see you out there!

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act: Update

pronghorn herd running, video link

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act (RAWA) has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, a big win for wildlife. But it's not across the finish line yet!

Do your part to support Texas wildlife and help get RAWA passed by contacting your U.S. Senators and letting them know you expect them to vote yes for RAWA. 

Desert Bighorn Sheep restoration license plate, with link

A message from our non-profit partner, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation:

Palo Pinto: A New Park for Texas

Aerial view of Palo Pinto State Park

Texas’ newest state park is on the horizon.

Thanks to a fundraising effort led by TPWD’s nonprofit partner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Texans are chipping in to make the park a reality.

TPWF is also excited to partner with a true Texas titan – H-E-B, whose Field & Future by H-E-B™ line of sustainable products provide funding to support projects like this that help conserve the wild things and wild places of Texas.

With your support, Palo Pinto Mountains State Park will provide new outdoor experiences for Texans and a safe haven for the wildlife who call it home. Donate today. 

Burn Firewood Where You Source It

campfire and tent, video link

Don't move firewood in or out of parks or campgrounds, or from one county to another. Tree-killing insects and diseases can hitch a ride on firewood and spread to living trees. Watch the short video Don't Move Firewood to find out more. Help protect our trees, burn it where you buy it!

Moody Gardens holiday ad, with link

Geocaching in Baytown, link

The Our Wild Texas newsletter is made possible in part
by the generous support of Toyota


Did someone forward this email to you? Subscribe now ⁠— it's free!