Our Wild Texas – April 2024

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Good News for Ocelots

Ocelot profile

Our tiny population of ocelots will be growing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and East Foundation approved an agreement to aid in the reintroduction of ocelots. Under the agreement, ocelots will be released in South Texas with the hope they establish a permanent population. 

"Texas Parks and Wildlife is proud to partner on this project, and staff are excited to continue assisting with the recovery of the ocelot so we can ensure these iconic animals are still around for future generations,” said TPWD Wildlife Division Director, John Silovsky.

The partners plan to construct a facility in Kingsville where they can breed ocelots for reintroduction. It will be a few years before we can expect kittens. Find out more in our press release USFWS, East Foundation Sign Safe Harbor Agreement to Aid Ocelot Recovery in Texas.

Do's and Don'ts if You Find Baby Wildlife

baby birds in a hand, video link

If you find a baby bird and have the urge to pick it up, think again. Sometimes a chick will need help, but its parents are probably tending to it. First, lock your pets inside, then watch our short video What To Do if You Find a Baby Bird.

Fawn hiding in grass, video link

If you see a fawn by itself, resist the urge to "rescue" it unless it's in danger. A mother deer will leave her fawn alone for hours to avoid leading predators to it. Find out more in our short video What To Do if You Find an Abandoned Fawn

Tips To I.D. Butterflies

Giant swallowtail butterfly on dianthus

Giant swallowtail on dianthus

Your pollinator garden is blooming, the butterflies are nectaring and laying eggs. But with more than 400 species of butterflies in Texas, how can you tell who's who? 

Pipevine swallowtail, video link

Pipevine swallowtail on dianthus

The best thing to do is get a field guide of Texas butterflies or look online for quick reference guides. For more tips, see the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Backyard Beauties

Monarch license plate ad, with link

New Owl Nest Cam – the Owlets Just Hatched!

Owl and two owlets at night, video link

A pair of great horned owls have been nesting at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for more than 10 years. Two little fuzz-ball owlets hatched in early April, and you can watch them grow up courtesy of a newly-installed nest cam. Find out more about great horned owls in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Sky Tiger.

Watch on YouTube

Tips To Keep Birds From Hitting Your Windows

window with bird protection stickers, video link

Birds don't understand glass. They see what it reflects, lights shining behind it or don't see it at all. Up to 1 billion birds die from glass collisions in the U.S. each year. Here are 3 tips to help keep birds from flying into your windows:

  1. Add stick-ons to windows. 
  2. Add screens to the outside of windows.
  3. Turn off unneeded lights and use timers or motion sensors.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has more cost-effective ways to make your windows bird-safe. Find out more about how outdoor lights impact migrating birds in the magazine story Flying Dark.         

Watch the video

Are You Ready for the City Nature Challenge?

Graphic of heron and monarch, video link

Join us in the Texas City Nature Challenge, taking place 4/26-4/29. It's free and easy to participate: make nature observations, then upload photos of those observations to iNaturalist online or try their app. Cities all over the world participate, and if you don't see your city listed, join the global community. 

If you have questions or need more information, email our Texas Nature Tracker biologists. It's a spectacular time of year to get out and observe wildlife – see you out there!

A message from our non-profit partner Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation:

Black Bears Making a Comeback in Texas

Black bear

Driven out of Texas in the 1900s, black bears have gradually returned to their historic habitat – and with support from Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Borderlands Research Institute and West Texas ranchers are learning more about them.

Their efforts are chronicled in a short film called Second Chance, which follows conservationists, researchers, and ranchers as they study, observe, and celebrate the incredible return of this magnificent animal to Texas. The film is just one of five short films from H-E-B’s Our Texas, Our Future docuseries, made in partnership with Austin-based Fin & Fur Films.

Watch the video

2024 Toyota Tundra, with link

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


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