Preserving wildlife and plant diversity in the Texas Hill Country

Preserving wildlife and plant diversity in the Texas Hill Country

Defenders of Wildlife and our partners are working to protect the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country. This incredibly biodiverse area is facing serious threats to its wildlife, land and people from impacts like unchecked urban development and natural gas pipelines like the Permian Highway Pipeline. Join us in doing all we can to protect this amazing place. After watching the video, click on this link: to find out more.

Visit the Hill Country, get involved, act now.

Video Transcript:
Central Texas, originally Tonkawa, Comanche, Caddo and Apache lands, is going through dramatic changes that will alter its future forever. In this video, Defenders of wildlife sets out to discover the people and organizations working to preserve the region’s natural beauty. We learn about the threats it faces and uncover the connections between the region’s wildlife, land, and people.

The Texas Hill Country truly is the heart of our state. It marks the confluence of seven ecoregions coming together, twelve of our state’s iconic rivers have their head waters right here in the Texas Hill Country. When you layer those incredible natural and cultural resources on top of booming population growth, you can start to see that those resources are at immediate risk.

Ashe junipers are the foundation of this ecosystem. They build the soils, but these are the trees that we’ve lost. Central Texas is known as a biodiversity hotspot; we have salamanders; we have golden cheeked warblers; we have cave invertebrates.

Karst is a living process; something that’s going on now. Caves like these are an integral part of the karst landscape, channeling surface water down into the Edwards Aquifer. They maintain water flow and water quantity vital to the survival of species that live in the aquifer and springs.

All of these things occur together. Central Texas is the only place that golden cheeked warblers nest; ashe juniper-oak woodlands. All golden-cheeked warblers are native Texans. They will leave their nesting grounds and travel all the way to Central America, a distance of over 1,500 miles and make it all the way back to almost the exact same territory year after year.

By protecting golden-cheeked warblers we’re protecting our heritage, which is these juniper-oak forests and woodlands of the Texas Hill Country.

Salamanders that live in our groundwater are like the canary in the coal mine. They’re an indication that we still have good water quality that we drink from our wells and that we swim in at Barton Springs. It’s the salamander in the aquifer, not the canary in the coal mine.

The goal of the Texas Hill Country Conservation Network is to scale the impact of more than 75 nonprofit organizations, agencies, and universities working together to protect the land water and wildlife resources of the Texas Hill Country. It’s critical that we have a vision for growth in Central Texas that is protective. Without that vision, we stand to lose everything that defines the quality of life, vibrant economies and culture of this iconic region.

Building sustainable communities is a conscious choice. We have the power and the tools to successfully manage our land water and wildlife. We encourage you to find out more, use the link below, become part of making the Hill Country Vision a reality!

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