Land Stewardship > Wildlife Management
Wildlife often bring a sense of wonder to the land. They bring an opportunity to think of days prior to settlement when wildlife were the primary inhabitants of Central Texas. A simple truth which carries forward to today is that when wildlife are healthy and diverse their habitat is healthy and diverse.
When considering land objectives, wildlife management can almost always fit nicely into other land objectives. Land well-managed for livestock, soil and water, or aesthetics often benefits wildlife. While different wildlife species have different needs; even small acreages can be managed to benefit a wide variety of wildlife. Important wildlife types in Central Texas include: songbirds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, game-birds, and mammals.
Overall Tips for Wildlife
- Take a census of your land. Find out what wildlife frequents your land and ask your neighbors what is on their land.
- Ask a professional what is missing. Common wildlife not found on your property may be just a telling as what is found.
- Find out what you can do to help. There are simple tips you can do to help provide water, cover, food, etc. for most wildlife.
- Work with your neighbors. Many species of wildlife use larger areas than many people own. Cooperative management can improve habitat and solve problems.
Manage for Deer
- Maintain deer populations at appropriate densities. Have a plan to reduce populations if numbers become excessive.
- Remember that deer live in and eat brush. Plan appropriately when considering brush management.
- Harvest rainwater to provide supplemental water for deer.
Manage for Quail
- Maintain brush clumps 50+ feet in diameter no more than 50 yards apart.
- Maintain tall bunch grasses. More than 250 per acre.
- Maintain open, weedy areas on about 25% of area.
- Disc, burn or graze areas when grass gets too thick.
Manage for Turkey
- Maintain a mosaic of open areas (50%) and wooded areas (50%).
- Avoid disturbing turkeys on their roost, or clearing brush too close to a roost.
- Maintain suitable roost trees with low (4-6 feet), medium (8-12 feet), and high branches (over 20 feet).
Manage for Threatened and Endangered Species
With over 86 federally listed threatened and/or endangered animal and plant species occurring in Texas, it is important that landowners understand the potential benefit or harm that their habitat management actions could have on these imperiled species. For information on the listed species which could occur in a county, along with information on the species' habitat requirements, please visit http://www.fws.gov/endangered/ and enter a county. For most listed species, recovery plans are available for review. To learn more specific information about how land management actions may affect a particular species, landowners may contact either the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Both agencies have biologists available to help landowners with various wildlife issues, including endangered species issues. These biologists may also be able to direct landowners to cost-share programs available to help restore habitat for federally listed and other rare species. Other helpful links include:
- Texas Endangered Species Publication
- Edwards Aquifer Species Publication
- Black-Capped Vireo Information
- Golden-Cheeked Warbler Information
- Houston Toad Information