TEXAS GEMS -MATAGORDA ISLAND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA (WMA) & STATE NATURAL AREA (SNA)
A 38 mile long island off central Texas coast, at Port OConnor, the Matagorda Island WMA is separated from the mainland by San Antonio and Espiritu Santo bays. Both WMA and SNA occupy about 56,688 acres. The SNA area is approximately 7,325 acres. Matagorda Island WMA is located in Calhoun County.
Area of Influence:
12100403- Espiritu Santo Bay and San Antonio
Bay (USGS Hydrologic Units, Texas Maps).
4a- Gulf Dunes and Barrier Island of Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes (Ecoregions and Sub-regions of Texas).
Salt Marsh, Gulf Beach, Sand Dunes, Sand Flats, Island Prairie
The species best known in the WMA are the Brown Pelican, Whooping Crane, Peregrine Falcon, Least Terns, Piping Plover, and neo-tropical bird species.
Rare/endangered/threatened species and natural communities
with occurrence record on the WMA include:
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Whooping Crane (Grus americana)
Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
Texas diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin littoralis)
Panther Reef Bird Rookery
Matagorda Island Air Base Bird Rookery
Seacoast Bluestem-Gulfdune Paspalum Series--tall-to-mid grass community occupying stabilized secondary dunes and vegetated flats on barrier islands
Breeding and nursery area for fish, some birds, and other wildlife
It is a forage area for deer, most avian species, and neo-tropical species.
Neo-tropical birds, waterfowl, Whooping Cranes, White Pelicans, etc.
Barrier Island, Beach Dunes.
Uniqueness of Natural Community:
325 bird species, 9 mammals species (for more information call 1-800-792-1112)
Archaeological and Cultural Significance:
Matagorda Island Lighthouse, Civil War era embattlements
Boating, fishing, bird watching, and hunting.
The WMA is owned by the Texas General Land Office and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
Managed by TPW & USFWS
Passive natural processes management with minimal tool use.
Existing Monitoring Activities:
Monitoring by TPWD & USFWS staff for avian species, mammal populations, and plant diversity.