State Wildlife Grants: Bird Funding Priorities


Black Rail
Surveys of Black Rail breeding grounds to assess population status and habitat selection. A sampling technique needs to be developed to adequately predict presence of territorial birds and coastal counties need to be surveyed in a sample design in order to extrapolate total breeding population.
  • Findings will report methodology used, areas sampled, habitat selected, total birds found, and estimated population.
  • Identify areas of conservation priority, by using occupancy modeling or other techniques, for conservation planning purposes.
  • Collect site and population information using Texas Natural Diversity Database (TXNDD) forms.
  • Submit report on species status and threat updates.
  • Provide conservation recommendations and a proposal for monitoring to assess trend in the future, if warranted by findings.
Lesser Prairie Chicken
Various components of Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) ecology remain poorly documented by empirical data. Additionally, the effects of anthropogenic development and prescribed conservation actions on LPC habitat use and productivity are generally poorly understood. The following list identifies priority research projects by the Lesser Prairie Chicken Interstate Working Group:
  • Improved understanding of anthropogenic impacts on LPC habitat use, productivity, and gene flow.
  • Better understanding of population level responses to currently prescribed management practices; especially grazing prescriptions, tree shearing, fence marking, etc.
  • Effect on LPC habitat use and vegetative communities from various types of chemical treatments for reducing shrub cover (especially for sand sagebrush).
  • Improved understanding of LPC habitat use and movements relative to juxtaposition of specific native vegetation communities and cropland.
  • Specific effects of climate change on LPC distribution, survival, and productivity.
  • Role of Conservation Reserve Program lands as habitat (nesting, brooding, wintering) and importance of scale in a cropland mosaic.
  • Presence and distribution of West Nile virus across range, particularly with respect to water development projects for prescribed grazing.
Mountain Plover
Survey of wintering grounds for population status and habitat selection. Large agricultural producing areas in San Patricio, Nueces, Willacy, Cameron, and Hidalgo counties need to be surveyed in a sample design in order to extrapolate total population wintering in area.
  • Findings will report areas sampled, habitat selected, total birds found, and estimated population.
  • Collect site and population information using TXNDD forms.
  • Submit report on status and threat updates, TXNDD forms, and GIS data/shapefiles.
  • Provide conservation recommendations and a proposal for monitoring to assess trend in the future, if warranted by findings.
Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Survey for Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (SWWF) and Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo (YBCU), in suitable breeding habitat and confirm nesting in the Chihuahuan Desert ecoregion, to provide baseline information to TXNDD.
  • With findings, provide assessment and description of habitat and community type (working with TPWD Communities Ecologist for appropriate system nomenclature) suitable for YBCU and/or SWWF for areas not surveyed.
  • Collect site and population information using TXNDD forms.
  • Submit report on status and threat updates, TXNDD forms, and GIS data/shapefiles.
  • Provide conservation recommendations and a proposal for monitoring to assess trend in the future, if warranted by findings.
Sprague’s Pipit
Survey winter habitats for Sprague’s Pipit (SPPI) in Texas south of IH-20.
  • With findings, provide assessment and description of habitat and community type (working with TPWD Communities Ecologist for appropriate system nomenclature) suitable for SPPI for areas not surveyed.
  • Collect site and population information using TXNDD forms.
  • Submit report on status and threat updates, TXNDD forms, and GIS data/shapefiles.
  • Provide conservation recommendations and a proposal for monitoring to assess trend in the future, if warranted by findings.
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