Project

University

Summary of tasks covered by funded research

Due date/Report Completed and Available

Contact at Comptroller's office for more information

Desert Massasauga
Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii

University of Texas at Tyler

  1. Conduct research studies to address the status of the Desert Massasauga rattlesnake,
    Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii, in Texas
  2. Analyze genetic structure of specimens to determine taxonomic status, especially compared with the Western Massasauga,
    Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus
  3. Assess population structure for identifying potential conservation units

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Integrated Conservation Biology of the Desert (Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii) and Western Massasauga (S. c. tergeminus) at the Species and Population Level: Combining Ecological Niche Modeling with Genetic and Radio-Tracking Data, by John S. Placyk, Jr., Josh A. Banta, Richard A. Seigel, Marsha G. Williams, Mitch Barazowski, Steven R. Hein, Grace Herrington, and Neil B. Ford. Austin, Texas, January 4, 2017. Consultant’s report.

Chelsea Jones
chelsea.jones@cpa.texas.gov
512-475-5315

Western Chicken Turtle
Deirochelys reticularia miaria

Texas A&M University

  1. Conduct a literature review and synopsis of current understanding of Deirochelys reticularia miaria
  2. Range-wide survey to assess current status of species
  3. GIS model of suitable habitat in Texas, which will identify habitat needed to support D. r. miaria populations in Texas
  4. Final report with conclusion on threats and recommendations on management of D. r. miaria, if needed, in light of knowledge gained from proposed research

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Habitat Modeling and Conservation of the Western Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia miaria) in Texas, by Wade A. Ryberg, Brad D. Wolaver, Heather L. Prestridge, Ben J. Labay, Jon Paul Pierre, Ruth A. Costley, Connor S. Adams, Brandon C. Bowers, and Toby J. Hibbits. Austin, Texas, August 5, 2016. Consultant’s report.

Lauren Borland
lauren.borland@cpa.texas.gov
512-463-4673

Bluehead Shiner
Pteronotropis hubbsi

Sam Houston State University

  1. Determine historic and current distribution along with habitat characteristics of Pteronotropis hubbsi in Texas, with a focus on Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake
  2. Study the ecological and life history requirements
  3. Develop models and maps that help identify distribution, important habitat and potential human activities that may impact the current status of the Bluehead Shiner in Texas

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Current Status, Critical Habitat and General Ecology of the Bluehead Shiner (Pteronotropis hubbsi) in Texas, by Chad W. Hargrave and Kaitlen P. Gary. Austin, Texas, March 29, 2018. Consultant’s report.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Plains Spotted Skunk
Spilogale putorius interrupta

Angelo State University

  1. Review the current and historical records to establish past and present distribution in Texas
  2. Identify and quantify availability of priority habitat within range
  3. Complete surveys to verify existing population
  4. Conduct genetic analysis to determine population connectivity and general levels of genetic variation in Texas, describe variability across subspecies and determine if hybridization occurs

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Conservation Status of the Plains Spotted Skunk, Spilogale putorius interrupta, in Texas, with an Assessment of Genetic Variability in the Species, by Robert C. Dowler, J. Clint Perkins, Alexandra A. Shaffer, Brad D. Wolaver, Benjamin J. Labay, Jon Paul Pierre, Adam W. Ferguson, Molly M. McDonough, and Loren K. Ammerman. Austin, Texas, October 6, 2017. Consultant’s report.

Lauren Borland
lauren.borland@cpa.texas.gov
512-463-4673

Prairie Chub
Machrybopsis australis

Texas State University

  1. Conduct surveys to review and quantify historical and current occurrences and abundances of Prairie Chub within the upper Red River Basin
  2. Quantify habitat factors at multiple scales and assess relationship with species distribution
  3. Determine population genetic structure throughout the range of the Prairie Chub and quantify the extent to which interspecific hybridization is affecting the gene pool
  4. Asses the effect of geography and habitat alternation on population genetic structuring, gene flow among populations, and the degree to which hybridization is occurring
  5. Quantify life history information including food habitats, reproductive periodicity, longevity, age groups and growth rates

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Endangered Species Research Projects for the Prairie Chub, by David S. Ruppel, V. Alex Sotola, Ozlem Ablak Gurbuz, Noland H. Martin, and Timothy H. Bonner. Austin, Texas, July 31, 2017. Consultant’s report.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Freshwater Mussels (Central and West Texas)

Texas A&M University

  1. Conduct surveys in the Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe, San Antonio, Nueces and Rio Grande river systems
  2. Conduct genetic analysis on the Quadrula species
  3. Conduct research studies and address the status of freshwater mussels in the Rio Grande River drainage, including the Devils and Pecos rivers

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Freshwater Mussels (Unionidae): Central and West Texas, by Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources. Austin, Texas, April 28, 2017. Consultant’s report.

Colin McDonald
colin.mcdonald@cpa.texas.gov
512-936-8591

Freshwater Mussels (East Texas)

University of Texas at Tyler

  1. Conduct surveys in the San Jacinto, Trinity and Neches river systems
  2. Conduct genetic analysis on Triangle Pigtoe
  3. Study physiological responses to potential environmental stressors including siltation, nitrogen and temperature

Reports available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: East Texas Threatened Mussels, by Lance Williams, Neil Ford, Marsha Williams, and Sara Rumbelow. Austin, Texas, April 5, 2019. Consultant’s report.

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Endangered Species Research Projects for Freshwater Mussels, Region 2, East Texas, by Neil B. Ford, Lance Williams, Marsha G. Williams, Josh Banta, John Placyk, and Harmonie Hawley. Austin, Texas, February 5, 2017. Consultant’s report.

Final report due: 6/30/2019

Colin McDonald
colin.mcdonald@cpa.texas.gov
512-936-8591

Spot-tailed Earless Lizard
Holbrookia lacerata

University of Texas at Austin

  1. Complete a viability analysis of the spot-tailed earless lizard across its range by conducting surveys and looking at genetics, distribution, diet, potential threats, behavior, morphology and historic collections
  2. Conduct radiotelemetry analysis to assess movement and habitat use of the species

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Collaborative Research on the Natural History of the Enigmatic Spot-tailed Earless Lizard (Holbrookia lacerata) in Texas, by Travis J. LaDuc, Brad D. Wolaver, Jon Paul Pierre, C. Michael Duran, Benjamin J. Labay, Wade A. Ryberg, Toby J. Hibbits, Corey E. Roelke, Matthew K. Fujita, Ian M. Wright, Gautam Surya, Cody J. Shank, Paul Holloway, John R. Andrews, Svetlana A. Ikonnikova, Guinevere McDaid. Austin, Texas, May 7, 2018. Consultant’s report.

Chelsea Jones
chelsea.jones@cpa.texas.gov
512-475-5315

Louisiana Pine Snake
Pituophis ruthveni

Texas A&M University

  1. Summary of literature and evaluation of available data
  2. Sample historic range in Texas to determine the present range and estimated total population
  3. Assess habitat that supports P. ruthveni, including current anthropogenic impacts on the habitat and suggestions on how to restore the habitat
  4. Analyze suitable, available habitats in Texas that could maintain P. ruthveni, including a determination of how habitat fragmentation would affect populations
  5. Identify potential threats to populations

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Endangered Species Research Projects for the Louisiana Pine Snake, by Toby J. Hibbits, Josh B. Pierce, Wade A. Ryberg, and D. Craig Rudolph. Austin, Texas, December 2016. Consultant’s report.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Monarch Butterfly
Danaus plexippus

Sam Houston State University

  1. Determine current status of monarch butterfly population in east Texas, including natural and man-made threats
  2. Look at overwintering population in east Texas and dynamics of non-migratory group

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Evaluation of the Status of the Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus, With an Emphasis on its Current Populations, Host Plant Availability, and Disease Threat in East Texas, by Jerry L. Cook, William B. Godwin, and Tamara J. Cook. Austin, Texas, 2017. Consultant’s report.

Lauren Borland
lauren.borland@cpa.texas.gov
512-463-4673

Monarch Butterfly
Danaus plexippus

Texas A&M University Commerce

  1. Pilot study in northeast Texas to assess the threats to monarch butterflies from imported fire ants
  2. Potential effects of the red imported fire ant on monarch butterflies

Reports available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Pilot Study on the Potential Role of Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta) on Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Reproductive Recruitment in Northeast Texas, by Jeff Kopachena. Austin, Texas, July 7, 2016. Consultant’s report.

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: the Potential Effects of the Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta) on Survivorship of Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Eggs and Larvae in Northeast Texas, by Jeff Kopachena and Bukuo Ni. Austin, Texas, September 13, 2018. Consultant’s report.

Lauren Borland
lauren.borland@cpa.texas.gov
512-463-4673

Monarch Butterfly
Danaus plexippus

University of Texas at San Antonio

  1. Conduct roadside and site-specific surveys for milkweed and monarch butterfly populations
  2. Do seed viability and germination experiments, greenhouse experiments with milkweed and field experiments to understand propagation of various milkweed varieties
  3. Organize outreach and education to share research developed through the above tasks and make presentations to the public about pollinators

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: State Comptroller Contract CMD #15-5773LV, by Janis K. Bush. Austin, Texas, December 17, 2018. Consultant’s report.

Lauren Borland
lauren.borland@cpa.texas.gov
512-463-4673

Sprague's Pipit
Anthus spragueii

Texas State University

  1. Estimate change in the wintering population statewide over the past 10 years
  2. Examine the landscape-level land cover associations of Sprague’s pipit
  3. Develop a temporal model of potential wintering abundance and distribution of the Sprague’s pipit
  4. Conduct ground-based surveys
  5. Identify protected areas that currently harbor a substantial number of pipits
  6. Develop an efficient and reliable on-site survey method that could be used to survey pipit havens in the future

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Sprague’s Pipit Research Project, by Joseph A. Veech. Austin, Texas, January 22, 2017. Consultant’s report.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Sprague's Pipit
Anthus spragueii

Texas A&M University

  1. Using previously collected surveys develop models of Sprague's pipit wintering habitat in Texas
  2. Categorize the probability of grassland conversion, identify areas of concern and compare conservation costs to land values
  3. Determine extent of Sprague’s pipit conservation efforts in Texas

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Evaluation of Sprague’s Pipit’s Conservation Status on their Wintering Grounds in Texas, by Ashley Long, Brian Pierce, Kevin Skow, Amanda Dube, Addie Engling, and Roel Lopez. Austin, Texas, September 25, 2015. Consultant’s report.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Texas Kangaroo Rat
Dipodomys elator

Texas Tech University

  1. Conduct surveys and review historical information to understand distribution and abundance in Texas
  2. Quantify habitat characteristics
  3. Conduct genetic analysis
  4. Develop species distribution model

10/31/19

Colin McDonald
colin.mcdonald@cpa.texas.gov
512-936-8591

Black Rail
Laterallus jamaicensis

Texas State University

  1. Estimate nest and fledgling success, population change associate with anthropogenic factors.
  2. Evaluate population resiliency and residency of Texas coast populations
  3. Complete a range wide literature review
  4. Map locations of and population levels of Black Rail

Reports available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis), by Amanda A. Moore. Austin, Texas, December 29, 2017. Consultant’s report.

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) Supplement, by Amanda A. Moore. Austin, Texas, November 2018. Consultant’s report.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Aquatic Survey of the Delaware River

Texas State University

Conduct a survey for all fish, turtles and mussels living in the Texas reach of the Delaware River

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Aquatic Surveys of Delaware River of Texas, by Timothy H. Bonner and Bradley M. Littrell. Austin, Texas, June 21, 2018. Consultant’s report.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Dunes Sagebrush Lizard
Sceloporus arenicolus

Texas A&M University

Determine the feasibility and best methodology for translocating dunes sagebrush lizards to establish new self-sustaining population and enhance conservation opportunities for the species

12/31/19

DSL.CCAA@cpa.texas.gov

"Freshwater Mussels (Central Texas - Colorado, Brazos, Guadalupe)

Texas State University

  1. Conduct surveys in the Colorado, Brazos, and Guadalupe river systems
  2. Study physiological responses to potential environmental stressors including temperature, dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, salinity and desiccation study
  3. Conduct environmental flow analysis
  4. Conduct a mark-recapture study to examine mussel responses among seasons
  5. Determine suitable host fish, captive propagation of juveniles, and improved rearing techniques for juveniles

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Multiple Freshwater Mussel Species of the Brazos River, Colorado River, and Guadalupe River basins, by Timothy H. Bonner, Edmund L. Oborny, Bradley M. Littrell, James A. Stoeckel, Brian S. Helms, Kenneth G. Ostrand, Patricia L. Duncan, and Jeff Conway. Austin, Texas, February 28, 2018. Consultant’s report.

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Supplemental Report: Multiple Freshwater Mussel Species of the Brazos River, Colorado River, and Guadalupe River basins, by Timothy H. Bonner, Edmund L. Oborny, Bradley M. Littrell, James A. Stoeckel, Brian S. Helms, Kenneth G. Ostrand, Patricia L. Duncan, and Jeff Conway. Austin, Texas, August 31, 2018. Consultant’s report.

Final report due: 2/28/2020

Colin McDonald
colin.mcdonald@cpa.texas.gov
512-936-8591

Black-spotted Newt
Notophthalmus meridionalis

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  1. Address range-wide data gaps for species
  2. Refine model with habitat characteristics, natural conditions, and land management practices via a robust, range-wide survey
  3. Document repeatable environmental DNA sampling methodology

11/30/20

Colin McDonald
colin.mcdonald@cpa.texas.gov
512-936-8591

Dunes Sagebrush Lizard
Sceloporus arenicolus

Texas State University

  1. Describe minor and major aquifers in the study area
  2. Investigate the occurrence of perched aquifers in the study area
  3. Assess historical trends in water levels
  4. Assess existing and planned uses of groundwater in the study area
  5. Model projected impacts to groundwater levels

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Frac Sand Facilities and Their Potential Effects on the Groundwater Resources of the Monahans-Mescalero Sand Ecosystem, Permian Basin, Texas, by Robert E. Mace. Austin, Texas, January 2019. Consultant’s report.

DSL.CCAA@cpa.texas.gov

Landscape-Level Habitat Assessment for Desert Massasauga and Spot-tailed Earless Lizard

Texas Tech University

  1. Create a habitat map that includes the distribution of all vegetation types and anthropogenic land uses for 2014-2019
  2. Validate habitat map with widespread field surveys
  3. Analyze habitat map and imagery for landscape-level habitat configuration, fragmentation and connectivity metrics
  4. Compare the distribution of vegetation types and land uses across three time periods at study sites representative of the species range in Texas
  5. Create an influence diagram for assessment of landscape change due to disturbances, invasive species and conservation efforts

3/15/22

Chelsea Jones
chelsea.jones@cpa.texas.gov
512-475-5315

Monarch Butterfly
Danaus plexippus

Texasm A&M University

  1. Conduct a literature review of monarch butterfly population status and trends in Texas
  2. Review monarch butterfly population status and trends using habitat and connectivity models
  3. Survey monarch butterfly populations and habitats with an emphasis on fall migration
  4. Assess fifth generation and overwintering status of the monarch butterfly
  5. Develop spatially explicit risk assessment map for monarch butterfly populations in Texas

Report available: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Final Report: Investigations on Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in Texas Using a Spatially Explicit Functional Connectivity Approach, by Robert N. Coulson, Kristen A. Baum, Tuula Kantola, James L. Tracy, and Michael A. Quinn. Austin, Texas, December 31, 2018. Consultant’s report.

Lauren Borland
lauren.borland@cpa.texas.gov
512-463-4673

Plains Spotted Skunk
Spilogale putorius interrupta

Angelo State University

  1. Conduct temporal and spatial analysis of home range dynamics, landscape level habitat selection and microhabitat usage in the Katy Prairie ecosystem
  2. Evaluate species response to previous and current habitat management strategies
  3. Conduct maternal denning and daytime resting location analysis
  4. Evaluate cause-specific mortality and survivability between sexes, age classes and different habitat types
  5. Analyze density and relative abundance at survey sites and extrapolate findings across the Katy Prairie ecosystem

8/31/21

Lauren Borland
lauren.borland@cpa.texas.gov
512-463-4673

Rio Grande cooter
Pseudemys gorzugi

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  1. Estimate the presence of the Rio Grande Cooter and identify habitat association in the Rio Grande and Pecos River watersheds
  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of environmental DNA and drone-based surveys

12/31/19

Colin McDonald
colin.mcdonald@cpa.texas.gov
512-936-8591

Spot-tailed Earless Lizard
Holbrookia lacerata

University of Texas at Austin

  1. Conduct radiotelemetry analysis to define home range size, movement, activity patterns and habitat use of the species
  2. Evaluate detectability, abundance and demography of the spot-tailed earless lizard in repeated visual encounter surveys
  3. Analyze threats to the species
  4. Perform harmonic radar tracking of the species to investigate juvenile and adult dispersal
  5. Utilize insect community signatures to predict spot-tailed earless lizard occupancy and abundance

10/31/19

Chelsea Jones
chelsea.jones@cpa.texas.gov
512-475-5315