With our population growing, more and more lands are covered with civilizations needs. A little more than half of America’s wetlands that support waterfowl and other wildlife have been drained or paved over. As of the 2010 census, The great Lone Star States population is over 25 million, with 82% living in cities. It is predicted that by 2050 the population of Texas would reach a shocking 40 million.
Nowadays, overwhelming losses of and threats to wildlife plants and native populations are a result of habitational alteration and destruction. It’s mostly due to urbanization, timber production, reservoirs and agriculture.
According to the the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. are THE LOSS OF WILDLIFE HABITAT:
- All but a fraction of the prairies of central and coastal Texas have been converted to farmland, and as a result the Atwater’s Prairie Chicken is on the brink of extinction and Texas Prairie Dawn, a plant of the coastal prairies, is now rare.
- River bottom hardwood forests in Texas have been reduced from 16 to six million acres and longleaf pine forests have nearly all been cut-over. As a result of these changes, Texas Trailing Phlox and many other plants are rare, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is gone from Texas, and the Red-cockaded Woodpecker is threatened with the same fate.
- The original grasslands of South Texas have been lost to brush invasion, the grassland-dependent Aplomado Falcon disappeared from Texas, the Slender Rush-Pea is endangered, and the South Texas Ambrosia has become rare.
- Sub-tropical woodlands of the Rio Grande Valley have been converted to farmlands and citrus plantations, resulting in near-extinction of the Ocelot in Texas and increasing rarity for many plants, such as the Texas Ayenia.
- Ground water pumping in West Texas and dam construction throughout the state have modified springs and rivers so that species such as the Amistad Gambusia and Phantom Shiner are extinct, and many other species, such as the Puzzle Sunflower, are rare.
- Urbanization and land clearing in the Texas hill country have destroyed and fragmented woodland habitat of the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, along with several rare plants.(26)
The TPWD (Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.) are encouraging private land stewardship, more research and monitoring of the native ecosystem. They are also exploring partnerships and strategies to lessen the impact. We can only hope these plans bring a change for the sake of nature.
The Texas Wildlife Action Plan:
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, with input from partners, stakeholders and the public, completed the Texas Wildlife Action Plan in September 2005.
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the Plan in early 2006.
- State Wildlife Action Plans are being created by every state to prevent species from being federally “listed” as threatened or endangered, conserving wildlife and natural places and enhancing our quality of life.
- The agency and our partners have been implementing elements of the Plan and the Plan will be revised in 2010.
- Information gathered through action on the conservation priorities will be key to adapting and revising the plan to reflect current conservation needs.