World Wildlife Day:

Conservation in Far West Texas

Borderlands Research Institute

Tag Archive: WestTexas

  1. World Wildlife Day: Conservation in Far West Texas

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    It’s a tough world out there for Texas wildlife. Texas ranks fourth in the nation for most endangered animal species with 51 species. Texas’s growing human population has caused increased habitat loss and fragmentation, which is the top reason for species declines in Texas. But that isn’t the only challenge that Texas wildlife faces: Invasive species, reduced water quality and quantity, and climate change also impact wildlife populations.

    The good news is that our conservation partners are addressing these issues in a variety of ways. In celebration of World Wildlife Day, we’d like to highlight some of the wildlife conservation work happening in one of the wildest regions of the Lone Star State. Here are some of our Conservation Partners from Far West Texas!

    Mike Pittman, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

    Texas Bighorn Society: The Texas Bighorn Society is dedicated to restoring and preserving the desert bighorn sheep population in Texas through conservation efforts and public education. In the 1900s bighorns were considered extinct in Texas, but thanks to reintroduction efforts led by the Texas Bighorn Society, bighorns roam several locations in the mountains of Far West Texas. Now, their goal is to return bighorns to all their native ranges in the state. Wild about bighorn conservation? Consider becoming a TBS member! All money raised from membership dues and our annual Roundup Weekend and Auction is used exclusively to help return desert bighorns to the mountains and people of Texas.

    Katy Baldock

    Borderlands Research Institute: The mission of the Borderlands Research Institute is to help conserve the natural resources of the Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands through research, education, and outreach. The Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands are an incredibly diverse region, supporting 500+ bird species, 170+ reptile and amphibian species, and 120+ mammal species. Through research efforts focused on poorly understood species, the BRI provides essential information to land managers that supports wildlife conservation. The BRI relies heavily on outside support to continue their work, so consider donating to their efforts.

    Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition

    Frontera Land Alliance: The Frontera Land Alliance is a land trust dedicated to forever protecting natural areas and working farms and ranches in the West Texas and Southern New Mexico regions of the Chihuahuan Desert. One of the most effective ways to combat the impacts of the growing human population on wildlife is to protect existing wildlife habitat, and that is exactly what the Frontera Land Alliance is doing. 8,000 acres (and counting) of wildlife habitat will remain intact forever thanks to their work. Looking for a more hands-on way to support Far West Texas wildlife conservation? You can volunteer with the Frontera Land Alliance to create wildlife habitat, clean up trash, and more! 

    I-20 Wildlife Preserve

    I-20 Wildlife Preserve: This 100-acre preserve in the Permian Basin serves as a hub for ecotourism and science education in the region. Its 86-acre urban playa lake is a special feature of the preserve, providing abundant wildlife habitat. Regular removal of invasive species further improves this special wild space. Located less than a mile from the interstate, visitors to the I-20 Wildlife Preserve can experience firsthand how special the playa habitat is without traveling outside of the city. It is completely free to visit the preserve, so stop by the next time you pass through Midland and make a donation while you’re there!

    Quail Coalition: The Quail Coalition works to sustain and restore huntable wild quail populations, encourage and educate interested youth in hunting and the outdoors, and celebrate their quail heritage in Texas. A large part of their work is with landowners to promote native grass production and conservation to restore Texas prairies, which are beneficial to wildlife in Far West Texas. Are you a quail fanatic? You can become a member of the Quail Coalition.

    Texan by Nature’s vision is for every business and every Texan to participate in conservation and for Texas to be a model of collaborative conservation for the world.

    What can Texans do to support our conservation partners and the impactful work they’re doing?

    All of these organizations are 501(c)(3) nonprofit entities, which means they rely on outside donations for much of the work they do. Consider visiting their websites, where you can donate to their important initiatives.

    Another way you can help is by giving your time and effort. If you live in the Far West Texas region or plan on visiting soon, consider contacting an organization whose work resonates with you and volunteer with them.

    Lastly, you can spread the word to friends and family. Texas wildlife needs every Texan to be passionate about conserving their populations in order to prosper. Getting your inner circle excited about wildlife conservation helps more than you know!

    Texas wildlife faces a plethora of challenges, but with your help supporting and promoting these organizations, wildlife in the Far West Texas region can have a brighter future. We have the power to ensure that future generations can enjoy this region’s unique wildlife!