Texas Parks and Wildlife - Houston Urban Wildlife

Texas Parks and Wildlife - Houston Urban Wildlife The Houston Urban Wildlife page is here to help inform the public about wildlife issues in the urban environment of Houston and the Upper Gulf Coast.

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You are encouraged to share your thoughts as they relate to the topic being discussed. We expect comments generally to be courteous. To that end, comments are reviewed according to the following guidelines. We reserve the discretion to remove comments that:

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Comment Guidelines: http://on.fb.me/cWf2LL COMMENT GUIDELINES

You are encouraged to share your thoughts as they relate to the topic being discussed. We expect comments generally to be courteous. To that end, comments are reviewed according to the following guidelines. We reserve the discretion to remove comments that:

- Contain obscene, indecent, or profane language;

- Contain threats or def

Operating as usual

Thank you, hunters and anglers, for conserving Texas' wild places through your purchase of hunting and fishing licenses!...
09/25/2021

Thank you, hunters and anglers, for conserving Texas' wild places through your purchase of hunting and fishing licenses! Whether you’re new to the tradition or mentoring the next generation, help us connect more people with the outdoors at https://bit.ly/NatlHuntingFishingTx

#NationalHuntingAndFishingDay #NHFD

Thank you, hunters and anglers, for conserving Texas' wild places through your purchase of hunting and fishing licenses! Whether you’re new to the tradition or mentoring the next generation, help us connect more people with the outdoors at https://bit.ly/NatlHuntingFishingTx

#NationalHuntingAndFishingDay #NHFD

Right now Hummingbirds are still making their way south during fall migration. Do you put out sugar water for hummingbir...
09/20/2021

Right now Hummingbirds are still making their way south during fall migration. Do you put out sugar water for hummingbirds to help them on their long journey?

Read more about hummingbirds here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/nonpwdpubs/introducing_birds/hummingbirds/

Right now Hummingbirds are still making their way south during fall migration. Do you put out sugar water for hummingbirds to help them on their long journey?

Read more about hummingbirds here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/nonpwdpubs/introducing_birds/hummingbirds/

Our Critter or the Week is the Little Blue Heron. They can be found foraging in the water for fish, crustaceans, amphibi...
09/13/2021

Our Critter or the Week is the Little Blue Heron. They can be found foraging in the water for fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and other small organisms.

Our Critter or the Week is the Little Blue Heron. They can be found foraging in the water for fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and other small organisms.

This Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher perches above a pond filled with potential food flying around. You can see how this bird ...
09/09/2021

This Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher perches above a pond filled with potential food flying around. You can see how this bird has earned it's name.

This Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher perches above a pond filled with potential food flying around. You can see how this bird has earned it's name.

Our critter of the week is the White Ibis. Their long slender bill helps them probe for food in shallow waters.
09/06/2021

Our critter of the week is the White Ibis. Their long slender bill helps them probe for food in shallow waters.

Our critter of the week is the White Ibis. Their long slender bill helps them probe for food in shallow waters.

Blue Dasher Dragonflies are common around wetland habitats in Houston. Did you know that dragonfly larvae are aquatic si...
09/01/2021

Blue Dasher Dragonflies are common around wetland habitats in Houston. Did you know that dragonfly larvae are aquatic sit and wait predators? When small aquatic organisms swim by they go in for the meal. What kind of Dragonflies have you seen around your yard, park, or community?

Blue Dasher Dragonflies are common around wetland habitats in Houston. Did you know that dragonfly larvae are aquatic sit and wait predators? When small aquatic organisms swim by they go in for the meal. What kind of Dragonflies have you seen around your yard, park, or community?

Our Critter of the Week is this American Alligator 🐊The American Alligator populations suffered in the 1950's due to bei...
08/29/2021

Our Critter of the Week is this American Alligator 🐊
The American Alligator populations suffered in the 1950's due to being hunted for their skin. Now populations are stable due to conservation efforts.

Our Critter of the Week is this American Alligator 🐊
The American Alligator populations suffered in the 1950's due to being hunted for their skin. Now populations are stable due to conservation efforts.

This Black and White Warbler is on the lookout. Have you seen any of your favorite fall migrants?
08/26/2021

This Black and White Warbler is on the lookout. Have you seen any of your favorite fall migrants?

This Black and White Warbler is on the lookout. Have you seen any of your favorite fall migrants?

Our Critter of the Week is this Spicebush Swallowtail. This butterfly is doing what is known as puddling or mud puddling...
08/23/2021

Our Critter of the Week is this Spicebush Swallowtail. This butterfly is doing what is known as puddling or mud puddling. Notice the proboscis (feeding mouthpart) is extended. Sometimes butterflies get nutrients from moist substances like the damp ground, rotting vegetations, carrion, and other non-flower sources.

Our Critter of the Week is this Spicebush Swallowtail. This butterfly is doing what is known as puddling or mud puddling. Notice the proboscis (feeding mouthpart) is extended. Sometimes butterflies get nutrients from moist substances like the damp ground, rotting vegetations, carrion, and other non-flower sources.

Flying into the weekend like this juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. Did you know they are the official bird of Housto...
08/21/2021

Flying into the weekend like this juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. Did you know they are the official bird of Houston?

Flying into the weekend like this juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. Did you know they are the official bird of Houston?

We are starting to see a lot of 5-Lined Skinks out again. They prefer moist wooded areas where there is plenty of forest...
08/18/2021

We are starting to see a lot of 5-Lined Skinks out again. They prefer moist wooded areas where there is plenty of forest floor debris to hide.

We are starting to see a lot of 5-Lined Skinks out again. They prefer moist wooded areas where there is plenty of forest floor debris to hide.

Our Critter of the Week is the Great Egret! These wading birds can be seen by the water hunting fish, frogs, and other a...
08/15/2021

Our Critter of the Week is the Great Egret! These wading birds can be seen by the water hunting fish, frogs, and other aquatic organisms. It is not uncommon in urban areas to spot them by ditches or man-made water features in neighborhoods.

Our Critter of the Week is the Great Egret! These wading birds can be seen by the water hunting fish, frogs, and other aquatic organisms. It is not uncommon in urban areas to spot them by ditches or man-made water features in neighborhoods.

Tree frogs are amazing. In urban areas they have been found around human dwellings like shower blocks, water tanks, toil...
08/11/2021

Tree frogs are amazing. In urban areas they have been found around human dwellings like shower blocks, water tanks, toilets, etc. Their natural habitats are ponds, creeks, and trees. This one was found in a pond on the vegetation. What is the most random place you have found a tree frog?

Tree frogs are amazing. In urban areas they have been found around human dwellings like shower blocks, water tanks, toilets, etc. Their natural habitats are ponds, creeks, and trees. This one was found in a pond on the vegetation. What is the most random place you have found a tree frog?

Happy Sunday, Everyone! Our Critter of the Week is the Red-Winged Blackbird. These birds are s*xually dimorphic. This me...
08/08/2021

Happy Sunday, Everyone! Our Critter of the Week is the Red-Winged Blackbird. These birds are s*xually dimorphic. This means that the males and females have different physical appearances. The adult males are black with red on their wings like this one shown here, while the adult females are brown without the large red color patch on their wing. They can be found in wetland habitats feeding primarily on insects in the summer and seeds in the winter.

Happy Sunday, Everyone! Our Critter of the Week is the Red-Winged Blackbird. These birds are s*xually dimorphic. This means that the males and females have different physical appearances. The adult males are black with red on their wings like this one shown here, while the adult females are brown without the large red color patch on their wing. They can be found in wetland habitats feeding primarily on insects in the summer and seeds in the winter.

Northern Cardinals are a common favorite here in Houston. With a diet consisting of mainly seeds, fruit, and insects, it...
08/03/2021

Northern Cardinals are a common favorite here in Houston. With a diet consisting of mainly seeds, fruit, and insects, its no wonder they are frequent visitors to feeders. What are some of your favorite backyard birds here in Houston?

Northern Cardinals are a common favorite here in Houston. With a diet consisting of mainly seeds, fruit, and insects, its no wonder they are frequent visitors to feeders. What are some of your favorite backyard birds here in Houston?

We’re excited to announce the introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act into Congress today.  Bipartisan act...
04/22/2021

We’re excited to announce the introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act into Congress today. Bipartisan action will help us recover our most imperiled wildlife and disappearing habitats. Without investing in proactive wildlife conservation, scientists estimate that one-third of wildlife species in the United States are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered. The outdoors is more important than ever, for fish and wildlife and for our health and wellbeing, and needs protecting. The bill would create 33,000 new conservation jobs and is supported by the entire conservation community

Video explaining the bill: https://vimeo.com/462694167
The text of the bill is here:https://debbiedingell.house.gov/uploadedfiles/dingmi_138_xml.pdf

We’re excited to announce the introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act into Congress today. Bipartisan action will help us recover our most imperiled wildlife and disappearing habitats. Without investing in proactive wildlife conservation, scientists estimate that one-third of wildlife species in the United States are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered. The outdoors is more important than ever, for fish and wildlife and for our health and wellbeing, and needs protecting. The bill would create 33,000 new conservation jobs and is supported by the entire conservation community

Video explaining the bill: https://vimeo.com/462694167
The text of the bill is here:https://debbiedingell.house.gov/uploadedfiles/dingmi_138_xml.pdf

CALLING ALL TEXANS - Help protect migrating birds this spring by turning Lights Out, across Texas! Here’s how you can he...
04/19/2021

CALLING ALL TEXANS - Help protect migrating birds this spring by turning Lights Out, across Texas! Here’s how you can help: turn out all non-essential lights from 11 pm - 6 am every night through June 15, especially during the peak migration period of April 19 - May 7, when half of the total spring bird migration traffic passes through Texas. Join in and spread this message far and wide to help protect the approximately one billion birds that travel through the Lone Star State. Learn more and sign up for bird migration alerts: bit.ly/LightsOutTexas
#LightsOutTexas

CALLING ALL TEXANS - Help protect migrating birds this spring by turning Lights Out, across Texas! Here’s how you can help: turn out all non-essential lights from 11 pm - 6 am every night through June 15, especially during the peak migration period of April 19 - May 7, when half of the total spring bird migration traffic passes through Texas. Join in and spread this message far and wide to help protect the approximately one billion birds that travel through the Lone Star State. Learn more and sign up for bird migration alerts: bit.ly/LightsOutTexas
#LightsOutTexas

The monarchs are back and they need your help! It’s the start of monarch migration north from Mexico into Texas. This vi...
03/29/2021
How to help Monarch Butterflies

The monarchs are back and they need your help! It’s the start of monarch migration north from Mexico into Texas. This video shows some ways that Texans can help these creatures thrive, such as planting nectar-rich plants and native milkweed. Since the freeze wiped out many of the blooming landscape plants, butterflies and bees are finding nectar in tree blooms right now, such as Mexican plum, rusty blackhaw viburnum, and Texas redbud. Planting blooming native plants will help the adults complete their migration and native milkweed will create a place for the monarchs to lay their eggs.

Monarch butterflies are in need of your help! Reports out of Mexico state there has been a significant decline in numbers this year. Fortunately, by planting...

In the southern states, especially along the coast, there have always been small populations of overwintering Mexican fr...
03/01/2021
Freeze kills off many of Houston's Waugh Bridge bats

In the southern states, especially along the coast, there have always been small populations of overwintering Mexican free-tailed bats. These bats store body fat along their back to help them survive the cold winter temperatures. When temperatures dip below 50 degrees, the plump overwintering bats often stay in their bridge crevice and go into torpor, subsisting on body fat. February is usually the tail end of our Texas winter along the coast. Due to this, the overwintering bats were running out of stored body fat when the winter storm hit recently. The temperatures dipped extremely low – and remained cold for an extended period of time, which was very difficult for these overwintering Mexican free-tailed bats to withstand. Many young adult bats, likely born the summer of 2020 had not had enough time to build up fat storage like the more experienced adults. Check out this article featuring one of our Urban Wildlife Biologists commenting on the situation directly after the storm. Since the storm, has passed over 200 bats in the Houston area have been taken to local rehabilitation centers and the majority have been released back into the wild.

The bat colony under the bridge at Waugh Drive in Buffalo Bayou Park, a beloved staple of...

Texas Parks and Wildlife is seeking your help in cataloguing wildlife impacts from Winter Storm Uri. If you saw birds, b...
02/23/2021
Winter Storm Uri Wildlife Deaths

Texas Parks and Wildlife is seeking your help in cataloguing wildlife impacts from Winter Storm Uri. If you saw birds, bats, or other wildlife that you suspect were killed by the storm, please consider adding your photos to this iNaturalist project: https://bit.ly/UriWildlifeImpacts

Texas Parks and Wildlife is trying to better understand the impacts of Winter Storm Uri (mid-February 2021) on wildlife. Please contribute any observations of wildlife that you suspect were killed due to the cold and include photos where possible. Please also complete the extra observation field "Nu...

12/15/2020
Wildlife Diversity Program - Texas Parks and Wildlife

Houstonians, please take 15 minutes to watch BAYOU CITY, a new short film by our program, directed by Olivia Haun, about Houston's bayou ecosystem that is featured in this year's FREE Wild Film Tour. It's available to stream all December long via www.bit.ly/bayou_city.

Check out Bayou City, a new short film by our program that is featured in this year's FREE Wild Film Tour. It's available to stream all December long via www.bit.ly/bayou_city.

12/09/2020
Wildlife Diversity Program - Texas Parks and Wildlife

Our agency has 4 short films featured in this year’s FREE virtual Wild Film Tour that runs throughout the month of December, including our program's own film about Houston called BAYOU CITY. Watch now at: https://bit.ly/WildTexasFilmTour.

TPWD is excited to have 4 short films featured in this year’s FREE virtual Wild Texas Film Tour that runs throughout the month of December, including our program's own film, BAYOU CITY. Here's how to watch: https://bit.ly/WildTexasFilmTour. The Wild Film Tour showcases wildlife, adventure, and conservation stories from across Texas. Here's a preview:

10/02/2020
Houston Parks Board

Colonies of urban bats can be found in several of our bridges around the city including Waugh Bridge and Watonga Bridge. Check out this video put together by Houston Parks Board highlighting the colony of Mexican free-tailed bats and the prairie restoration being done along White Oak Bayou.

Have you seen the bats at Watonga Bridge yet? Every year between March-October, hundreds of Mexican Free-tailed bats emerge at sunset from their home under the Watonga Parkway Bridge. Free-tailed bats roost during the day and emerge at dusk.

The most impressive columns can be seen in August and September, when the young bats begin to join their mothers leaving the roost. Be sure to visit Watonga Parkway Park at sunset to witness this bat colony this month!

The Watonga Prairie Project is one of several ongoing Houston Parks Board restoration projects. Prairie habitat is extremely important to local wildlife and supports rainfall infiltration which reduces flooding. This restoration project supports the bat population by supplying a reliable food source. Our volunteers and staff work diligently to establish native plants.
The new multi-chamber bat box is mounted in the restored prairie to provide additional shelter. The open space of a prairie is an ideal location to allow bats to drop in and out like a natural roost and reduces their vulnerability to predators at night.

Watonga Parkway Park is located at 4100 Watonga Blvd, Houston, TX 77092, and parking is available in a parking lot on Watonga Blvd, just north of W 43rd St. For METRO, take bus route 23 and get off at Watonga Blvd & 43rd St or TC Jester Blvd and 43rd St.

Happy National Wildlife day! We’d like to celebrate by giving you a behind the scenes look into the urban wildlife resea...
09/04/2020

Happy National Wildlife day! We’d like to celebrate by giving you a behind the scenes look into the urban wildlife research done by our team.

We recently wrapped up summer field collection for our urban coyote diet project. Volunteers and researchers collected coyote s**t samples from urban greenspaces across the Houston area. We then sat down and processed each sample, identifying bones, fur, fruits, and other materials that had been digested. Some interesting finds included a Northern Cardinal feather, insect exoskeletons, fishing line, and the jaw bone of a skunk seen in the last picture. Coyotes are a vital part of the ecosystem and it is important to understand how an urban environment influences their dietary habits. We can also compare our results to similar studies being done in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and other urban areas. In addition to s**t collection, we set up game cameras to get some neat shots of our urban coyotes in the wild.

#urbanwildlife #htx #texaswildlife #NationalWildlifeDay

We had the pleasure of working with Dr. Dittmar on wildlife disease related issues in the Greater Houston area over his ...
08/12/2020

We had the pleasure of working with Dr. Dittmar on wildlife disease related issues in the Greater Houston area over his tenure with TPWD. Always the professional, Bob went above and beyond to assist with any issues we had. He will truly be missed.

On behalf of the Houston Urban Wildlife Office, we extend our thoughts and prayers to the families of these fine men. All of these men went above and beyond to help maintain and protect the wildlife and habitat they held dear.

https://www.facebook.com/texasparksandwildlife/posts/10157748966868693

Today we honor our colleagues who died in a helicopter crash on Saturday while conducting bighorn sheep aerial surveys in Brewster County. These men dedicated their careers to conserving Texas wildlife and their efforts will be felt for years to come. We welcome you to share your thoughts and memories.

Address

14320 Garrett Rd
Houston, TX
77044

General information

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Urban Biologists are here to help an ever increasing urban public understand and acknowledge the benefits of the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 5pm
Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm

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(281) 456-7029

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Wildscapes Workshop (https://npsot.org/wp/houston/event-overview/wildscapes-workshop/ ) posted an updated PLANT LIST with more species and higher availability numbers and updated BOOK LIST with lower prices! Not too late to register to get earlybird shopping. Wildscapes STARTS TONIGHT at 7:00 pm with Ben Pfeiffer on Fireflies. Although following talks will be recorded, this one will not be recorded for later viewing. Go to the Wildscapes website to register. Also on https://www.facebook.com/NativePlantsHOU/ events.
Hello everyone! I'm a design student looking to gain insight on your personal outdoor experiences through a short questionnaire. If you are interested, please comment below and I will send you the file Thank You in advanced for your participation.
Hello everyone! I'm a design student looking to gain insight on your personal bike experiences through a short questionnaire. If you are interested, please comment below and I will send you the file. Thank You in advanced for your participation.
TEXAS CWD TSE PRION 16 MORE CASES DETECTED TOTAL TO DATE 117 CONFIRMED NEW 14 BREEDERS 2 FREE RANGE 2018 8/2/2018 Free Range El Paso Mule Deer M 3 2018 7/3/2018 Free Range Hartley white-tailed deer M 2.5 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer M 3 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer M 3 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer M 3 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer M 3 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer F 9 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer F 5 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer F 4 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer F 3 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer F 6 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer F 4 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer F 2 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer F 4 2018 6/13/2018 Breeder Deer Uvalde Facility #3 white-tailed deer F
We are having an abnormal problem in the Memorial Area with Coyotes eating small dogs/cats, jumping fences to get to dogs with people (notice I didn't say a person) at close distance. This has become a concern for small children. I am aware and respect that coyotes are an important part of our ecosystem on the bayous, but there has been a drastic change in that eco system. There is an obvious depletion of their food source to cause them to come close to people with no fear, jump fences with multiple dogs, hunting in pack(s) for food where people are of no consequence. Small children are at risk. There is no differentiating between a small to medium size dog, a baby in a carrier, a 1-2 year old child. Being raised in the country, I have a great respect for these amazing creatures and understand the need for their existence. In rural areas when their population becomes to large, they have difficulty finding food and make no distinction between their prey(farm animals are in abundance). In those times we would have trappers come and help control the population, relocating them to other areas where food sources are in abundance. Help protect our coyotes, our children and our pets by getting trappers in here before something more terrible than our pets being eaten occurs. If you have email addresses that the community can express their need for help, I can pass along to our NextDoor community. Please know that I am fully aware(as many are) that our tax dollars pay for Texas Parks and Wildlife to protect not only the Texas Wildlife, but also the people that are endangered by them. I expect that this kind request will be taken seriously. Attacks on people with Texas Parks and Wildlife's knowledge of this problem could escalate the natural eco system in Houston that we hold so precious. Thank you, Toni Bradshaw
Thanks to Diana Foss for giving me some great information about the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony. We went tonight and the bats emerged about 7:20pm (sunset was 7:30 but it was overcast). From what I have read and seen In the news, Harvey did impact the colony from its peak estimated at about 300,000 bats. The current estimate is about 100,000 bats. The bats emerged in several waves one after the other lasting for at least 15-20 minutes before it got too dark to really see them well. There was also a hawk trying to catch the bats, but while we were there the hawk didn’t have any luck. This was our first time to see the bats and we were not disappointed. The picture is a view from Waugh Drive bridge looking East (the direction the bats emerge).
If your looking for a fun family friendly event in November, then please consider volunteering to help beautify Houston along the parks and trail systems. On Saturday, November 4th is the Annual LBJ Wildflower seed spreading day at various locations. Please click on the link below and find a place to volunteer. All you need is good shoes, comfortable clothes, and a cup of seed (this will be provided). Help the Houston Parks Board and the City of Houston Parks & Recreation provide pollinator habitat and seasonal wildflowers.