Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie Wildlife Management
Pastures For Upland Birds
Conversion of bermudagrass pastures to native grasses and forbs through research, demonstration and information dissemination to private landowners in Texas
As one of the gratest threats to wildlife today, exotic pasture grasses have claimed millions of acres of habitat throughout Texas. Ground nesting birds such as wild turkey and bobwhite quail have particularly suffered from the loss of our valuable native grasslands to "tame" varieties of turf grasses such as bermudagrass.
"Pastures for Upland Birds" is a landowner incentive program to restore native grasses and forbs in bermudagrass pastures and to enhance upland bird habitat in Texas.
Restoring native warm season bunch grasses and forbs on improved pasture, or hayland will improve ground level cover conditions, provide essential nesting habitat, and enhance the overall plant diversity benefiting numerous wildlife species.
Grass and forb species that are acceptabe for planting on Patures for Upland Bird Projects are listed below.
Plants Recommended for Reseeding
- Little bluestem
- Lometa indiangrass
- Haskell sideoats grama
- Blackwell switchgrass
- Van Horn green sprangletop
- Aztec Maximillian sunflower
- Eldorado Engelmann daisy
- Illinois bundleflower
TPWD will provide herbicide and the use of a no-till seed drill designed to seed native grasses.
How Landowners Participate
1. Contact your local TPWD biologist to set up a site evaluation.(see sidebar to locate your local biologist)
2. Determine appropriate acreage and location for pasture conversion to native habitat.
3. Graze, mow, or burn treatment site during late winter to prepare the site for herbicide application.
4. Purchase supplies and arrange for services as directed. (seed, herbicide, spraying and tractor services)
5. Apply herbicide as directed by the TPWD Biologist.
6. Drill native seed into dead sod 10-14 days after herbicide treatment for spring planting, or from December 1 to March 15 for winter planting.
7. Defer from grazing at least 2-3 growing seasons.
8. Monitor progress.
The conversion of "tamed" pastures back to a native state would be the single most important conservation action to retore declining wildlife populations in the Post Oak Savannah and other regions of Texas. Although this may not be possible on a landscape level, landowners are seeking management practices to benefit wildlife now more that ever before.