Project University Summary of tasks covered by funded research Due date/Report Completed and Available Contact at Comptroller's office for more information

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.
November 31, 2021 Colin McDonald
colin.mcdonald@cpa.texas.go
512-936-8591

Bluehead Shiner

Pteronotropis hubbsi

Sam Houston State University
  1. Determine historic and current distribution and habitat characteristics of the bluehead shiner in Texas, with a focus on Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake.
  2. Study ecological and life history requirements.
  3. Develop models and maps to identify distribution, important habitat and human activities that may impact bluehead shiner status in Texas.

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. March 29, 2018.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov
Delaware River Aquatic Surveys Texas State University
  1. Survey for all fishes, turtles and mussels in the Texas reach of the Delaware River.

Final Report: Aquatic Surveys of Delaware River of Texas, by Timothy H. Bonner and Bradley M. Littrell. June 21, 2018.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov
Desert Grassland Habitat Assessment for Desert Massasauga and Spot-tailed Earless Lizard Texas Tech University
  1. Create a habitat map with 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 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.
March 15, 2022 Chelsea Jones
chelsea.jones@cpa.texas.gov
512-475-5315

Desert Massasauga

Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii

University of Texas at Tyler
  1. Address status in Texas.
  2. Analyze genetic structure to determine taxonomic status, especially compared with the Western massasauga.
  3. Assess population structure to identify potential conservation units.

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. January 4, 2017.

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

Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

Sceloporus arenicolus

Texas A&M University
  1. Determine feasibility and best methodology for translocating dunes sagebrush lizards to establish new self-sustaining population and enhance conservation opportunities for the species.

Final Report: Translocation of Dunes Sagebrush Lizards (Sceloporus arenicolus) to Unoccupied Habitat in Crane County, Texas, by Mickey R. Parker, Wade A. Ryberg, Toby J. Hibbitts, and Lee A. Fitzgerald. December 31, 2019.

DSL.CCAA@cpa.texas.gov

Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

Sceloporus arenicolus

Texas State University
  1. Describe major and minor aquifers in the study area.
  2. Investigate 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.

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. January 2019.

DSL.CCAA@cpa.texas. gov

Eastern Black Rail

Laterallus jamaicensis

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

Final Report: Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis), by Amanda A. Moore. December 29, 2017.

Final Report: Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) Supplement, by Amanda A. Moore. November 2018.

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. Address freshwater mussel status in the Rio Grande River drainage, including the Devil’s and Pecos rivers.

Final Report: Freshwater Mussels (Unionidae): Central and West Texas, by Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources. April 28, 2017.

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

Freshwater Mussels

(Central Texas - Colorado, Brazos, Guadalupe)

Texas State University
  1. Survey the Colorado, Brazos, and Guadalupe river systems.
  2. Study physiological responses to potential environmental stressors including temperature, dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, salinity and desiccation.
  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.

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. February 28, 2018.

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. August 31, 2018.

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.

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. February 5, 2017

Final Report: East Texas Threatened Mussels, by Lance Williams, Neil Ford, Marsha Williams, and Sara Rumbelow. April 5, 2019.

Final Report: Endangered Species Research Projects on the Distribution and Abundance of the Texas Heelsplitter (Potamilus amphicaenus) and Louisiana Pigtoe (Pleurobema riddellii), by Joshua Banta, Lance Williams, Neil Ford, Katrin Kellner, Marsha Williams, Sarah Reeder and Jared Dickson. January 31, 2020.

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

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 present range and estimated total population.
  3. Assess habitat that supports the Louisiana pine snake, including current anthropogenic impacts and suggestions for habitat restoration.
  4. Analyze suitable, available habitats in Texas that could maintain the Louisiana pine snake, determine effect of habitat fragmentation on populations.
  5. Identify potential threats to populations.

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. December 2016.

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.

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. July 7, 2016.

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. 2017.

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

Monarch Butterfly

Danaus plexippus

Texas A&M University Commerce
  1. Assess threats from imported fire ants in Northeast Texas.
  2. Potential effects of the red imported fire ant on monarch butterflies.

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. September 13, 2018.

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. Milkweed seed viability and germination experiments, greenhouse and field experiments to understand propagation of various milkweed varieties.
  3. Organize outreach and education to share research and make presentations to the public about pollinators.

Final Report: State Comptroller Contract CMD #15-5773LV, by Janis K. Bush. December 17, 2018.

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

Monarch Butterfly

Danaus plexippus

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

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. December 31, 2018.

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

Plains Spotted Skunk

Spilogale putorius interrupta

Angelo State University
  1. Review 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 genetic variation in Texas, describe variability across subspecies and determine if hybridization occurs.

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. October 6, 2017.

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 habitat types.
  5. Analyze density and relative abundance at survey sites and extrapolate findings across the Katy Prairie ecosystem.
August 31, 2021 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 in 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 and quantify the extent to which 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, including food habitats, reproductive periodicity, longevity, age groups and growth rates.

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. July 31, 2017.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Rio Grande cooter

Pseudemys gorzugi

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

Final Report: Development and Application of a Novel Suite of Field Survey Methods to Inform Conservation of the Rio Grande Cooter (Pseudemys gorzugi), by Drew R. Davis, Amy P. Bogolin, Md Saydur Rahman, Richard J. Kline, and Abdullah F. Rahman. December 31, 2019.

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

Spot-tailed Earless Lizard

Holbrookia lacerata

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

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. May 7, 2018.

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

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.
  2. Evaluate detectability, abundance and demography in repeated visual encounter surveys.
  3. Analyze threats to the species.
  4. Perform harmonic radar tracking to investigate juvenile and adult dispersal.
  5. Utilize insect community signatures to predict occupancy and abundance.

Final Report: Movement and Habitat Use of the Plateau Spot-tailed Earless Lizard (Holbrookia lacerata) and the Tamaulipan Spot-tailed Earless Lizard (Holbrookia subcaudalis): 2017-2019 (PDF)

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

Sprague's Pipit

Anthus spragueii

Texas A&M University
  1. Using previous surveys, develop models of wintering habitat in Texas.
  2. Categorize 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.

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. September 25, 2015.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Sprague's Pipit

Anthus spragueii

Texas State University
  1. Estimate change in the wintering population statewide over the past 10 years.
  2. Examine landscape-level land cover associations.
  3. Develop a temporal model of potential wintering abundance and distribution.
  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 to survey pipit havens in the future.

Final Report: Sprague’s Pipit Research Project, by Joseph A. Veech. January 22, 2017.

nat.res.research@cpa.texas.gov

Texas Kangaroo Rat

Dipodomys elator

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

Final Report: Endangered Species Research: Texas Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys elator), by John D. Stuhler, Michaela K. Halsey, Carlos Portillo-Quintero, David A. Ray, Robert D. Bradley and Richard D. Stevens. December 31, 2019.

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

Texas Kangaroo Rat

Dipodomys elator

Texas Tech University
  1. Evaluate habitat use, resource selection and movement patterns.
  2. Evaluate dispersal patterns.
  3. Characterize metapopulation dynamics.
  4. Conduct stakeholder outreach.
March 31, 2023 Lauren Borland
lauren.borland@cpa.texas.gov
512-463-4673

Western Chicken Turtle

Deirochelys reticularia miaria

Texas A&M University
  1. Literature review and synopsis of current understanding of the Western chicken turtle.
  2. Range-wide survey to assess current status of species.
  3. GIS model of suitable habitat in Texas to identify habitat needs for Western chicken turtle populations in Texas.
  4. Assess threats and make recommendations for Western chicken turtle management if needed.

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. August 5, 2016.

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

Western Chicken Turtle

Deirochelys reticularia miaria

University of Houston – Clear Lake
  1. Address Western chicken turtle status in Texas.
  2. Inform future Western chicken turtle landscape-level research by establishing best survey methodologies and estimating range, distribution and habitat associations.
January 31, 2022 Lauren Borland
lauren.borland@cpa.texas.gov
512-463-4673