Until recently, the mussels of central Texas were mostly a mystery. Their distribution, life cycle and habitat needs and threats to the species were not known.
Recent research – although limited – shows the freshwater mussels of East Texas have declined in number, most likely because of historical over-harvesting, habitat degradation, loss of host fish species and the introduction of non-native invasive mussel species.
The eastern black rail is listed as endangered by six eastern states, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to list it as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
The black-spotted newt lives along the coastal plain of Texas from the San Antonio River to the Rio Grande. The historical range of the species extends for several hundred more miles along the Gulf Coast into Mexico.
No insect under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received more attention at the highest levels of government than the monarch butterfly.
The historic range of the plains spotted skunk covers most of the central plains in the United States from Texas to Wyoming. The Katy Prairie northwest of Houston is home to one of the last known populations in Texas.
Although the historic range of the Rio Grande cooter covers thousands of square miles in the United States and Mexico, it is one of the least studied turtles in North America.
The spot-tailed earless lizard is notable for a row of black spots on the underside of its tail, for a lack of external ear openings and for confusing generations of Texas herpetologists.
According to biologists, over the last 100 years, the Texas kangaroo rat range has decreased from 13 counties (11 counties in North Texas and two in Southern Oklahoma) to only five counties in Texas.
Two species considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act – the desert massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii) and the spot-tailed earless lizard (Holbrookia lacerata) – are among the diverse species of West and South Texas grasslands.
Spanning over 400 square miles of the Central Texas coast, Matagorda Bay serves as a rich resource for numerous industries including commercial and recreational fishing, commercial oystering, farming and agriculture, and tourism.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.