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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2014-03-24                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than five months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Editors: Images associated with this news release are available on the TPWD Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/). ]
[ Media Contact: Mike Cox, 512-389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
March 31, 2014
Search Continues for Wildlife Affected by Oil Spill
Original Release March 24, 2014 -- Updated Regularly
Oil Spill Update -- 1 p.m. March 31, 2014
State parks at Galveston and Mustang Island remain open to beachgoers and anglers as TPWD personnel continue to assist in the search and recovery of any wildlife affected by the March 22 oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel. Most of the oil has been onshore at Matagorda Island since last Thursday, and contractor crews are at work removing it from the beach and other areas.
A wildlife rehabilitation facility has been established in Port O'Connor at the TPWD Coastal Fisheries Laboratory, to assist in the event that birds or marine life are impacted by the oil. Persons who observe any impacted wildlife should not attempt to capture or handle them but are urged to call 888-384-2000.
For specific information on the ongoing efforts to deal with the spill, contact the Unified Command Joint Information Center at Port O'Connor at 214-225-8007.
Oil Spill Update -- 4:15 p.m. March 27, 2014
Oil from the weekend spill in the Houston ship channel has moved south and is currently coming ashore on Matagorda Island. So far, however, TPWD has received no reports of any oiled birds or other adverse impact to wildlife.
Anyone who sees any oiled wildlife is asked not to touch the animal, but to report the sighting by calling 888-384-2000.
TPWD biologists, along with other state and federal personnel, are continuing to monitor conditions in the areas affected by the oil spill.
For the latest information from the U.S. Coast Guard, which is coordinating the response effort, visit www.texascityYresponse.com.
News media may call 214-225-8007 or 713-435-1505.
March 24, 2014 -- This is an ongoing event. Information will be updated regularly.
(This news release was first issued March 24, 2014. Updates are added to the top of the release.)
AUSTIN -Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel are continuing to look for wildlife affected following the Saturday oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel.
As of Sunday, three birds were taken to a private wildlife rehabilitation service field station for rehabilitation and three birds were found dead. More oiled birds are expected to be found.
Monday, teams of state and federal biologists were checking eastern Galveston Island, Pelican Island and the Bolivar peninsula looking for other affected wildlife.
According to TPWD personnel on the scene, Bolivar Flats is currently a potential hotspot, since it is a significant refuge for birds. Expectations are that oiled birds will fly there and with decreasing temperatures, more impact on birds is expected. High tides could impact further as habitats become inundated.
In addition to the field work underway,TWPD staff are participating in the incident command operation in Texas City and assisting with response activities for reported impacted wildlife.
How the public can help
--Don't pick up or try to assist any oiled wildlife, including birds or marine animals.
--If anyone observes impacted wildlife, please call 888-384-2000.
Video of the Galveston oil spill initial impact on wildlife at http://youtu.be/pG_SAU5xsHE. For a high resolution download, go to http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/files/video/
For updates
Media inquiries about the oil spill response should be directed to the Joint Incident Command at (409) 978-2788 or by email to: texascitycollision@gmail.com
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than five months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Editors: Images associated with this news release are available on the TPWD Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/). ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
March 24, 2014
Hill Country Rio Grande Turkeys Geared Up for Information Exchange
AUSTIN - Fifty Rio Grande wild turkeys sporting shiny and colored leg bracelets are roaming the woods this spring in Llano and Mason counties. Some have designer backpacks and state-of-the-art electronics. They are not trying to be fashion statements; they are participants in a high-tech information exchange.
Earlier this year, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists working closely with local landowners trapped, tagged and outfitted these birds with GPS tracking devices for Rio Grande wild turkey fieldwork to identify specific habitat characteristics of nesting, brood-rearing, loafing, and roosting sites.
"We will also look at dispersal rates and distance traveled between winter and summer ranges," said Kory Perlichek, TPWD's district biologist in Mason.
The project consists of three turkey trapping sites on private land in eastern Mason and western Llano Counties. Trapping began in February using funnel traps and drop nets. Among the 50 turkeys captured, which included hens, gobblers, jakes, and bearded hens, a dozen of the hens were fitted with GPS-VHF backpack-style radio transmitters. Local landowners and biologists alike are interested in how this high-tech information can improve land management decisions.
Basic biological data was collected on all birds and leg bands were placed on each prior to release where they were trapped. Silver bands were placed on the right leg and a colored band on the left leg of each bird. TPWD phone numbers are on each leg band and radio transmitter. If anyone recovers a wild turkey with a leg band or radio transmitter, please contact the phone number listed on the item or contact Kory Perlichek at 325-347-5691.
All birds with radio transmitters will be monitored once a week prior to nesting and more frequently during nesting season. Nesting season for the Edwards Plateau is typically from April to July each year depending on habitat conditions and the timing of spring green-up.
Previous work in the Edwards Plateau, where Rio Grande wild turkey populations have locally fluctuated, has not focused on populations in the Llano Uplift region. While these populations appear stable, changes in land use practices in this area and the effect on habitat use and productivity are unknown.
-30-