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|  TPWD News Releases About Hunting Dated 2013-02-19                      |
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Feb. 19, 2013
TPWD Scoping Potential Special White-Winged Dove Area Regulations
AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will be gathering input on possible dove hunting changes in conjunction with upcoming public hearings in San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
The department will be scoping the expansion of the Special White-winged Dove Area (SWWDA) and the associated reduction of mourning doves in the daily bag limit to two during this early four-day season.
The public hearings will begin at 7 p.m., to be followed by scoping sessions, and are set for:
--March 7 - Corpus Christi, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, NRC Rm. 1003, 6300 Ocean Dr.
--March 12 - San Antonio, Lions Field Community Center, 2809 Broadway
Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which regulates hunting seasons on migratory game birds, including doves, approved an expansion of the current SWWDA boundary in South Texas. The boundary would be expanded east to Interstate Highway 37 (see map). This change would approximately double the size of the SWWDA.
"This regulation change would allow more hunter opportunity on an expanding and increasing population of white-winged doves in South Texas," said Shaun Oldenburger, TPWD Dove Program Leader.
The USFWS has expressed concern about potential increased harvest of mourning dove in the SWWDA as a result of the proposed expansion. If Texas accepts the expansion, the USFWS is mandating a two bird daily bag limit reduction for mourning dove during the early season in the SWWDA.
Currently, the daily bag limit during the early season is 15 doves with no more than 4 mourning doves and 2 white-tipped doves. The regulation change would modify the daily bag limit to 15 doves with no more than 2 mourning doves and 2 white-tipped doves.
The public is reminded that a number of other fishing and hunting related issues will be covered at these meetings and not limited to this possible regulation change.
Additionally, public input on the dove zone scoping items can also be submitted electronically at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/scoping/ by email to Shaun Oldenburger at shaun.oldenburger@tpwd.texas.gov, or in writing to Shaun Oldenburger, PO BOX 788, San Marcos, TX 78667.
Proposed Boundary Change for the Special White-Winged Dove Area
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[ Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Shawn Gray 432-837-2051, shawn.gray@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 19, 2013
Trans-Pecos Pronghorn Restoration Effort Continues
AUSTIN -- The continuation of the Trans-Pecos pronghorn restoration project took another step forward with the successful relocation of 130 pronghorn recently.
The animals were captured from healthy populations around Dalhart and moved to an area near Marathon to supplement severely declining populations.
The relocation process was coordinated by the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University, Trans-Pecos Pronghorn Working Group, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), and USDA-Wildlife Services.
The objective of the Trans-Pecos pronghorn restoration project is to restore Trans-Pecos pronghorn populations that have reached historic lows through translocations from burgeoning herds in the Panhandle. Pronghorn numbers and population trends are assessed through aerial surveys conducted each summer.
During the initial phase of the restoration project in 2011, about 200 pronghorn were captured and released on ranches near Marfa. TPWD estimates about 15-20 percent of the transplanted pronghorn remain.
"The historic drought that occurred in the Trans-Pecos shortly after transplanting the pronghorn was the primary reason for the high mortality rate," said Shawn Gray, TPWD Mule Deer and Pronghorn Program Leader. "However, in the area where the transplanted pronghorn were released they, and their offspring, currently compose a bulk of the local pronghorn population."
The 2013 relocation/release near Marathon occurred under significantly improved range conditions.
"The release area had favorable precipitation during the summer, as well as good winter moisture," said Gray. "We also spent six months working to prepare the release site, including fence modifications and predator management, all with landowner cooperation. Trans-Pecos field staff, headed by the local District Wildlife Biologist Mike Janis was instrumental in this effort."
Joachim Treptow, TPWD District Wildlife Biologist stationed in Dalhart spent endless hours coordinating with local landowners in the Dalhart area to obtain trapping permission and working on trap site logistics.
"Without his hard work and local landowner support this project would not have happened" said Gray.
At the capture site, workers took each animal's temperature to monitor stress, along with blood and fecal samples for disease surveillance. The pronghorn also received a mild sedative and other injections to minimize stress related to capture and transport. Ear tags were attached for identification, and 59 of the captured pronghorn were fitted with GPS radio collars to monitor movements. The collars will provide one GPS location per hour.
After processing, the pronghorn were transported by trailer to the Marathon release site. Dr. Louis Harveson, BRI director and Sul Ross professor of Natural Resource Management, said that "The pronghorn were in excellent shape and traveled really well."
During the next year, the BRI and TPWD will monitor the translocated pronghorn to determine survival, reproductive productivity, fawn survival, habitat utilization, and movements.
"We sincerely appreciate all the cooperation and support from the Dalhart and Trans-Pecos communities, because of their continued teamwork our state's pronghorn resource and all Texans are greatly benefited," said Gray. Without the many partnerships involved, this monumental project would have not occurred."
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