The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Central Coast Wetland Ecosystems Project: A New Approach at Integrating Nongame Interests with Existing Game Management Programs

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Wildlife Division is proposing to establish regional “wetland ecosystem” teams to coordinate wetland related activities on state-owned and private lands in Texas. The Central Coast Wetland Ecosystems Project (CCWEP) was the first of these teams to form. Project staff are responsible for daily management, maintenance, and research activities on state-owned areas, as well as providing management assistance to private landowners and coordinating surveys for American alligators (Alligator mississipiensis) and colonial waterbirds on the central Texas coast. CCWEP staff will employ traditional and innovative land management practices, primarily for waterfowl. Ecosystem monitoring, however, will be aimed primarily at documenting the response of vegetation, neotropical birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish-togame management practices. Monitoring will involve the use of Sherman live traps, drift fence arrays, point counts, point intercept transects, bag seines, and trammel nets. To date, 22 small mammal species, 301 bird species, 43 reptile and amphibian species, and 53 fish species have been documented. Monitoring and research will also assess species composition and distribution by season and habitat type.

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