Posts tagged with conservation. View all posts

The Wildlife Society: Q&A: How to Conserve Wildlife Without Conflict

Imagine a world of conservation without conflict, where landowners, state and federal agencies, and environmental organizations all got along, working toward the common goal of helping imperiled species thrive.

It’s easy to see such a notion as a pipe-dream in a world fraught with endless lawsuits and protests. But one organization believes such a step is possible—in fact, they have made great achievements in the conservation world operating on such a principle in just over five years.

Texas Hill Country Conservation Network: Unleashing the Power of Connections and Community

The recently released Land, Water, Sky, and Natural Infrastructure Plan expands our perspective of Hill Country infrastructure beyond the concrete and steel that physically supports our cities and society. This plan provides us with a framework for conversations in our communities to value natural infrastructure in the same way we value built infrastructure – as critical and tangible systems necessary for our way of life and worthy of major investments.

Energy Today: Buffalo for the Broken Heart

Almost all the pastures I looked at were overgrazed. But some grazing is necessary, both economically and in the interests of wildlife habitat. I learned that the health of the pasture is not only a function of grazing pressure, but of how that pressure is applied. Ten years later, when I got the chance, I divided my new ranch into nine pastures and rotated the cattle through them quickly, because, being domestic, and thus deprived of the virtues of selective evolution, they weren’t suited for grazing the pastures evenly. They didn’t utilize all the grasses and forbs unless forced to, and when allowed to wander freely, they concentrated—that is to say, ruined—huge quantities of grass that wild species need. On the Great Plains grass is synonymous with wildlife habitat. When healthy, grass supplies food, shelter, escape cover, and a place to reproduce for almost everything that lives out here. Humans are no exception.

Texas' first wildlife film is here

Deep in the Heart is a visually stunning celebration of Texas’ diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife found nowhere else. Narrated by Matthew McConaughey, the film aims to conserve our remaining wild places, to show the connectivity of water and wildlife, and to recognize Texas’ conservation importance on a continental scale.

Featured Map: Demonstrating the cascade of stewardship

Water is a cornerstone in supporting Texas’ rich array of landscapes, burgeoning populations and prosperous economy. Managing and regulating this valuable resource to ensure long-term, sustainable use is a top priority for state and local planners—however, it quickly becomes a delicate balance with consideration to ecological processes, natural disasters and general land/water ownership rights.

Approach to Bobwhite Habitat Management at RPQRR

At the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, everything points to quail. Our primary goal is to maximize “usable space” for quail on the landscape 365 days of the year. There is an important distinction for the land manager to understand when discussing the improvement of habitat for maximization of usable space versus creating an “ideal” habitat.

Benefits of Multispecies Management on Private Lands

Not surprisingly, about 94% of Texas is privately owned—84% of that land is considered working lands (farm, range and timberland) making private landowners the stewards with the largest influence over natural resources compared to public lands. As we watch Texas experience the largest inter-generational change in landownership ever experienced, how landowners continue the legacy of land management is up to them, making education the first priority.

Sorting Out Bobwhite Population Genetics

Wild quail face a long and varied list of challenges to their daily and long-term survival. While some perils are easily identified—a predator raiding a nest, a lack of vegetative cover for nesting, or a sweltering summer day—others, like diseases and parasites, are more subtle. Still others are even less tangible than that; to observe them, you have to dive into the gene pool. Genetic diversity is a topic not often addressed when discussing ways to help quail, but given its role in determining the fate of populations, perhaps it should garner more consideration.

Map of the Month: Freshwater Mussels: Key Indicators of Ecosystem Health

Freshwater mussels play an important role in the health of freshwater ecosystems by providing food and habitat for other aquatic species, stabilizing stream bottoms, and filtering the water in our lakes and rivers. The Rio Grande basin is home to three mussel species suffering from habitat loss and growing human populations in this area may be threatening the water systems necessary for their survival.

NRI Members Showcased Efforts at the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society Annual Meeting

The Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society (TCTWS) annual meeting is a time to present and discuss current research and recognize notable achievements in conservation leadership. NRI was well represented at this year's meeting by noteworthy scientific research presentations, employees who took on leadership roles within TCTWS, and extension outreach efforts.

Map of the Month: Bright lights and big cities: urban growth in Texas

From scattered rural settlements to big cities, the density and distribution of people in Texas has changed dramatically over time. As "urban sprawl" continues to increase development in the outlying areas around cities, it will affect the resources, amenities, and job opportunities for the people who live there.