Archivos de diario de mayo 2019

25 de mayo de 2019

Annandale Ranch (May 21-23, 2019)

Annandale Ranch trip, Uvalde County, Texas, 5/21/19 15:00 to 5/23/19 12:00, with Jo Wilson, Carol Bennett, Liz Wilson Marince, Valarie Bristol, Debbie Volker, Doris Coward, Ann Bishop, Penny Potter, Lee Decker, George Cofer, Bill Cofer, Brenda Ladd, and Clifton Ladd. Areas visited included the main ranch house, Frio River near the main house, Frio Bat Cave, Katherine's yard, walk to airstrip pasture, The Big Woods, and various points between. Estimated distance by car and on foot about 10 miles. See eBird checklist

We went to the Frio Bat Cave at about 7:05 p.m. on 5/21/19, and cave swallows were flying around the cave with about 50 or so in the sky at any given time, but flying in and out of the cave, making it impossible to count the total number of swallows with any accuracy. We think they were all cave swallows. This went on until about 8:40, when all the swallows went in the cave and there was not one flying around. About 3 minutes later, at about 8:43 pm CDT (about an hour or more later than usual) was when we saw the first Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) fly out of the cave. Less than a minute later we had a small stream of bats flying out, then within seconds a big column of bats flying out to the east. We saw one zone-tailed hawk trying to get a bat.

The Frio River was flowing nicely for this time of year. The gage USGS 08195000 Frio Rv at Concan, TX was at about 1200 to 1150 cfs during this time.

On Wednesday night, 5/22/19, about 9:30 pm, Liz and I went to the wetland area at 29.47486, -99.68901 to listen for frogs. We heard cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi), Cope's gray treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) (call was faster, shorter, and higher than H. versicolor), green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea), and Rio Grande leopard frogs (Lithobates berlandieri).

Thank you to George and Bill Cofer!

(Notes 146: 6-7)

Publicado el mayo 25, 2019 09:47 TARDE por cliftonladd cliftonladd | 31 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de mayo de 2019

Houston toad protection after the Bastrop County Complex Fire (February 1, 2012 - June 30, 2012)

The worst wildfire in Texas history started on September 4, 2011, northeast of Bastrop. The fire burned more 34,000 acres and nearly 1,700 homes. Four people died because of the fire. This was the Bastrop County Complex Fire (BCCF). It wasn't controlled until October 10, and was not finally declared extinguished until October 29, 2011.

The BCCF burned through the heart of the Lost Pines of Bastrop County, a relict forest of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), disjunct from the loblolly pines of the East Texas Pineywoods. The Lost Pines area was also known to be the best remaining habitat and the largest population of the federally-listed endangered Houston toad (Anaxyrus houstonensis). The fire burned through the core of this area, that had been designated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1978 as Critical Habitat.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) contracted with several biologists to help implement their disaster response and Houston toad conservation efforts. Because I'm permitted by the USFWS to work with Houston toads, FEMA enlisted me to help from February 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012. My records from this period are from February 2, 2012 through June 30, 2012, with one record from July 27, 2012.

I have never seen so much ash in one place, and I hope I never see it again.

(Notebooks 111-119)

Publicado el mayo 27, 2019 05:57 TARDE por cliftonladd cliftonladd | 72 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario