Explore the historic southeast range of Texas longleaf with us as we dive into their richly diverse conservation value.
This month, the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative draws to a close. We wrap things up by celebrating Mr. Kirby Quail's 6th birthday, highlighting some new resources and a license plate you'll want to take a look at, and putting the spotlight on two more quail organizations you may want to follow. Thank you for sticking with us, and for your passion for Texas quail!
The goal of this report was to examine the conservation easements executed under the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program, evaluating ecological and economic values secured through the protection of these properties as well as the fiscal efficiency of state funds to protect working lands with high agricultural value at a relatively low cost for state residents.
Leaves are falling, and quail are flying! This month, we're putting the spotlight on several organizations you'll want to follow to continue your quail education. We've also included the quail hunting forecast from TPWD and the newest Dr. Dale on Quail podcast, which you should give a listen to if you're planning to run dogs in rattlesnake country.
The Fall 2020 NRI Sourcebook (V1:I2) is here, a digital collection complete with the recently published peer-reviewed scientific publications, research reports, and resources developed to support the improvement of conservation, natural resource management and private land stewardship.
It’s been one year since TENT was launched and more than 450 30-minute sessions have been conducted by industry leaders, community stakeholders and military planners working collaboratively and proactively to avoid conflict.
Join us for Lights Out Texas through October 29 to keep migrating wildlife safe and conserve energy.
It's October, which means quail hunting season will soon be here (starting on Halloween this year!). Until then, we've got some recommendations for quail research institutions you should follow, as well as a new live video series focusing on Aldo Leopold's wildlife habitat management tools.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today released its new 5-year plan to conserve the Southeast’s threatened gopher tortoise by focusing on the conservation and restoration of its key habitat―longleaf pine forests, and fire will play a leading role in the efforts.
Study raises concern of land fragmentation, population vulnerability of endemic lizard
U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Fort Benning Garrison Commander, Col. Matthew Scalia, were joined by public and private representatives today to celebrate the proposed downlisting of the red-cockaded woodpecker from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
To showcase ongoing military installation resilience efforts, REPI is supporting several virtual engagements this fall. Read more to see the Resilience Webinar Series Review highlighting the diverse range of workshops and webinars hosted by REPI, Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability, and Western Regional Partnership. Throughout this series, REPI will engage with installations, partners, and resilience leaders across the country to discuss how installation resilience can enhance military readiness.
If clinging to routines is what keeps us moving forward in these unusual times, consider this a hat tip to the creativity spurred on by our need to connect and teach in-person. Leopold Live! is here.
U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Groundwater Conference, a map of Texas phenology, measuring hurricane risks & more in this issue of Conservation Matters
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The release of the Special Edition Quail Sourcebook is bittersweet as it marks the end of the RQDI grant and means that the program is drawing to a close.
Since the enactment of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973, wildlife conservation has evolved to include more robust science, greater public involvement, and expanding partnerships. However, the ways state and federal managers work together hasn't evolved at the same pace. A more proactive approach to encourage, promote, and assist states in implementing conservation is overdue.
In May 2019, the University of Wyoming's Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and College of Law, along with Texas A&M University's Natural Resources Institute and School of Law, convened a workshop that brought together 22 federal ESA and state wildlife conservation experts to reimagine the state-federal relationship and discuss opportunities for states to engage more meaningfully in species conservation efforts.
NFWF Announces $5.6 Million in Grants to Advance Longleaf Pine Habitat and Support Wildlife in Eight Southeast States
Twenty-three grants will support efforts to conserve nearly 350,000 acres of longleaf pine habitat and help recover populations of at-risk wildlife
The report outlines how the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership enables the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of the Interior (DOI) to collaborate on land conservation and natural resource restoration projects that enhance national security by increasing the resilience of military installations and ranges.
, DoD News — A report released today describes the work done to strengthen military readiness and protect the environment by a partnership that includes the Defense Department, the Agriculture and Interior departments, state and local governments, and nongovernmental organizations.
In our latest featured map, we took satellite imagery collected throughout 2019 and stitched them together in an animation to illustrate the phenological changes of vegetation across Texas.
From 1997-2017, Texas lost about 2.2 million acres of working lands.
Longleaf pine and birds go hand in hand. A well-managed longleaf pine forest that utilizes frequent prescribed burning can provide ideal habitat for a variety of bird species, as well as other wildlife.
The Longleaf Partnership Council (LPC) is pleased to announce a new communications fact sheet, Blowing in the Wind: Advantages of Longleaf Pine in Wind Storms. This informational product demonstrates the benefits of longleaf pine during windstorms such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
Listen in on Texas Ag Land Trust's latest podcast as TALT CEO Chad Ellis and NRI's Dr. Lopez delve into key land trend findings and what they mean for Texas’ working lands.
We're building a community of practice around land stewardship from the wings that fly above to the water trickling through the soil. Check out this peek into the 22 mini-decks you can dive into today.
We do know that thorough conservation is more than applied science and collaboration; it requires the stewardship of discovery and the constant observational loop, if you will, where we go back to the space of application and learn the sequence of science. So, instead of a Private Land Stewardship vignette or a publication to aid in your efforts today, we're learning from landowners in our continued series called "Landowner Loop", where we keep tools in the field and feedback loops open.
COVID may have changed our summer plans, but we're forging ahead with new ways to deliver quail education. This month, you can practice your plant identification skills with a new PLS vignette, enjoy some online learning activities hosted by the Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade, and join us in congratulating Dr. Dale Rollins on achieving professor emeritus status!
Summer is here, and there's plenty for quail enthusiasts to do! Texas Wildlife Association's annual convention normally takes place in San Antonio this month but has moved to an online format this year. There's also a new map resource we want to share, a vignette on wildlife tax valuation, and an upcoming virtual camp experience that young Students of Quail won't want to miss.
Texans will agree that you could never experience the full breadth of the state in one lifetime. It’s easy to identify the unique characteristics sprinkled throughout, ranging from the population composition and cultures, the native flora and fauna, and the spectacular river systems like the Red River in the north and the Rio Grande in the south. In true Texas form, you will also find a range of agricultural production strategies varying by regional differences in climate and landscape. At the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, we tell the story of our state’s privately-owned farms, ranches, and forests, otherwise known as working lands, which provide numerous ecological, economic and intrinsic benefits to our communities and beyond.
The Summer 2020 NRI Sourcebook (V1:I1) is here, a digital collection complete with the recently published peer-reviewed scientific publications, research reports, and resources developed to support the improvement of conservation, natural resource management and private land stewardship.
In the book “Texas Quails,” the authors discuss the scientific aspects of quail management and highlight four knowledge-based tenets which should inform any quail management decision. These “pillars of knowledge” include r-selection, successional affiliation, adaptive plasticity, and weather influences. In this new blog series, we will look at each of these pillars individually and explain why they should be the fundamental tools for any quail-minded manager.
In Game Management, Aldo Leopold wrote, “Are we too poor in purse or spirit to apply some of it to keep the land pleasant to see, and good to live in?” This conveys a simple truth for both green and veteran landowners: land management may require hard work, but generates value for the land and our spirits. The most effective land management is that which is intentional.
In late February, some of the brightest high school minds and future natural resource professionals from all across Texas converged on Long Acres Ranch to compete in an invitational Future Farmers of America, or FFA, Career Development Event.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, and Department of the Interior came together in collaboration to launch the Sentinel Landscape program. This program is an innovative approach to landscape conservation—recognizing the seemingly disparate but actually interwoven values of national security, conservation, and working lands and leveraging this cross-sector collaboration to unite people and secure the future of landscapes across the country.
“Habitat” is a term commonly used in wildlife management which refers to four essential components: food, water, shelter, and space. While this is a simple definition, it can be surprisingly difficult to describe quality bobwhite quail habitat, especially since there’s no exact formula for it.
How we, as collective stakeholders in the state, balance our needs and the challenges from land-use changes will influence future outcomes for Texas’ open spaces. Where do we start?
The 56th Annual Meeting of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society (TCTWS) wrapped up in Corpus Christi last week, with many of our NRI team members assuming active roles in the conference as exhibitors, presenters, and leaders.
Their stealth, acute hearing, and well-developed sense of smell combined with razor-sharp teeth and claws make bobcats excellent predators and this fact leads to the inevitable question for quail enthusiasts - how frequently do they predate quail?
Developed in partnership with Texas Agricultural Land Trust and the Borderlands Research Institute with funding by the Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, the West Texas Landowner Report serves to compile information that can serve to better inform key partners and organizations working to conserve and shape the future of West Texas.
Documentary on collaboration between defense, conservation, and agricultural communities will premiere at the D.C. Environmental Film Festival
An exciting new documentary that explores the benefits of the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership will premiere on Friday, March 13th at the 2020 D.C. Environmental Film Festival in Washington, D.C. Now in its 27th year, the Festival is considered the world’s premiere showcase of environmentally-themed films.
The use of toxicants for the management of wild pig populations is another potential tool to reduce damage and prevent populations from growing and spreading. Research is ongoing to answer critical questions regarding efficacy and humaneness as well as any potential environmental impacts prior to the use of toxicants, like sodium nitrite, on wild pigs in Texas.
Finally, as the campaign came to a close in 2019, we took a real look at how a digital data campaign created face-to-face connections, putting the social back in social media and trees in the ground.
The Big Bend Sentinel — Over a twenty-year period, Texas lost 2.2 million acres of working lands, with 1.2 million of those being converted to non-agricultural use in the last five years alone, according to a new study of Texas land trends from 1997 to 2017 by Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute.
COLLEGE STATION, TX — The Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI), in collaboration with the Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC) within the Office of the Governor, Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), and with input from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), launched the Texas Early Notification Tool (TENT).
We've collected, analyzed, and summarized the data, and now you get to see what we learned about quail in 2019. We had plenty of rain at the start of the breeding season, but did that translate to more birds?
We are proud to present the long-awaited Texas Land Trends: Status Update and Trends of Texas Working Lands 1997 - 2017 published in December 2019. Texas Land Trends reports have informed private and public landowners and decision-makers for over two decades. With this report, we are able to examine new patterns and identify trends following the release of the Census of Agriculture datasets by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS). These datasets provide key information for complex Texas natural resource challenges through the power of a “good map.” The Texas Land Trends: Status Update and Trends report is the fifth iteration and specifically describes the status and recent changes in land values, ownership size and land use of privately-owned Texas working lands.