Monthly Archives April 2010

New State Park to Open Near Brownsville Dec. 6

Resaca de la Palma State Park — Texas’ newest state park and the eighth link in the World Birding Center chain stretching the breadth of the Rio Grande Valley — will host a grand opening celebration on Saturday, Dec. 6 in this border city.

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Game warden Field Notes

South Padre Island

he following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

Rodeo in Sonora: On Nov. 30, a Sutton County Game warden received a call about two buck deer attached at the antlers by a large entanglement of wire. One of the deer was alive and the other was dead after being gored by a third buck deer. The location of the call was in the town of Sonora and several spectators were at the scene when the game warden arrived. A plan was developed and the necessary equipment, two ropes and wire cutters, were obtained. With help from a Sonora police department officer, who managed to rope the head of the deer while the game warden roped the back feet, the deer was stretched out in true rodeo head and healer fashion and the wire was cut from the bucks’ heads. The surviving buck was last seen jumping a fence and leaving town at a high rate of speed.

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World Birding Center Sites Known For More Than Birds!

Some exciting news for entomologists: a new species of tree cricket has been found in the United States. On May 16, 2009, Nancy Collins from Wisconsin and Laurel Symes, a PhD candidate at Dartmouth University, heard a tree cricket sing at Resaca de la Palma State Park and World Birding Center in Brownsville. On a return trip in June they found another cricket at Bentsen Rio Grande State Park, another World Birding Center in Mission. Further analysis by Dr. Thomas J. Walker, Professor Emeritus, University of Florida-Gainesville, revealed that it was an unnamed species of Oecanthus.  Collins says that it will be called Alexander’s tree cricket, in respect of R. D. Alexander who first discovered them in Mexico in the 1960s.

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World Birding Center Receives SATW’s Phoenix Award

South Padre Island

The World Birding Center, a network of nine Rio Grande Valley parks and nature centers dedicated to avian conservation and education, has won national recognition from the Society of American Travel Writers for promoting eco-friendly travel.

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South Texas Birders Excel in National Bird Count Competition

South Padre Island

Stick another feather in the cap of the Lower Rio Grande Valley to boost its already sizable reputation as one of the nation’s hottest birding spots.

A team of Rio Grande Valley birders at Estero Llano Grande State Park recently learned they placed first in the state and second in the United States in Birdwatcher’s Digest magazine’s Big Sit! competition held over a 24-hour period in October at  locations throughout the world. It was the first time a team from the state park, which is one of the state’s nine World Birding Center sites, had competed in the Big Sit!

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Boaters Urged To ‘Lift, Drift, Pole or Troll’ as New Seagrass Reg Takes Effect

The popular Redfish Bay area receives an extra measure of protection beginning May 1. On that date, a new regulation takes effect, prohibiting the uprooting of seagrass within the Redfish Bay State Scientific Area (RBSSA).

The shallow, highly productive body of water straddling the Aransas Bay and Corpus Christi Bay systems in the Coastal Bend boasts the state’s northernmost extensive stands of sea grasses, highly evolved marine flowering plants that are one source of the area’s bounty of red drum and spotted seatrout.

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Great Texas Birding Classic Takes Place April 15-22

LAKE JACKSON, Texas — The world’s longest bird watching competition is changing to a new “big weekend” format this year, marking the first year the Great Texas Birding Classic will hold the majority of competitive categories and events all on a single day. Also, thanks to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant, prize money for conservation projects has increased this year from $52,000 to $73,000.

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Public Input Meetings Set On Coastal Fishing Regulations

State fisheries biologists have set a January series of public input meetings in Port Arthur, Dickinson, Port Aransas and Port Isabel to discuss possible changes to the way fishing and fisheries are regulated along the Texas coast.

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Four Boat Ramp Projects Receive Grant Funding

Four projects designed to enhance boating access to Texas waters will share more than $1.4 million in matching federal grants through the State Boating Access Program.

Boat ramp facility improvement projects at Lake Buchanan, Cameron Park in Waco, Port Aransas and Surfside Beach were approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Jan. 24 meeting.

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Great Texas Birding Classic Teams Award Conservation Grants

Winning teams in the 2008 Great Texas Birding Classic have awarded their conservation prize money to fund seven habitat projects totaling $73,000 along the Texas coast. Touted as the world’s longest birding competition, the Birding Classic has funded a total of $651,000 for avian habitat conservation since it began 12 years ago.

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