Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Texans Encouraged to Practice Bear Safety

With winter quickly approaching, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) encourages residents in the western, southwestern and northeastern portions of Texas to practice appropriate bear safety measures and report sightings. Black bears are native to Texas and part of the state’s natural heritage and ecosystem. Guided by an excellent sense of smell, their behavior is driven largely by appetite. Fall provides their last opportunity to feast before denning up for the winter. The natural […]

The road to adoption is filled with support, guidance

By Jesse Booher Children and families around the world are celebrating November as National Adoption Month. Those of us who work with children each day are grateful for these families, and during this special month, we recognize the need to continue finding the loving families that all children deserve. The need is certainly there. In Texas over the past year, nearly 4200 children left foster care to adoptive homes. As recently as September of 2023, […]

Texas Master Naturalist Program Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Over the last 25 years, more than 15,300 Texas Master Naturalist volunteers have made their mark by dedicating their time to helping protect and conserve the state’s natural resources. Their impact spans across more than 256,000 acres of Texas’ landscapes from the lush tidal marshes of the Gulf Coast to the arid vistas of the Trans Pecos. Established in 1998 as a partnership between the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Texas […]

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Commission Thank Texans for Approving Prop 14

AUSTIN— Ballots have been tallied from election day and voters have made it clear— state parks matter to the people of Texas. Proposition 14, which creates the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund, passed with overwhelming support from Texas voters. The fund is made from a portion of state budget surplus and creates a dedicated funding stream for acquiring and developing state parks. “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Texas State Parks thanks to […]

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected on Texas Coast

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in domesticated swans in Nueces County. As expected by disease experts, HPAI is circulating among wild birds in Texas as fall migration begins for waterbirds and waterfowl. Detected in all states across the U.S. except Hawaii, HPAI is a highly contagious virus that transmits easily among wild and domestic birds. The virus can spread directly between animals and indirectly through […]

Dry Conditions Could Pose Challenges for Waterfowl Hunters This Season

Lingering drought conditions throughout much of Texas could present challenges as waterfowl hunters prepare for the start of the new season. The dry habitat conditions in many parts of the state are not ideal for ducks and duck hunters, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists. However, weather pattern changes, timely cold fronts and significant rain could boost hunters’ prospects. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) completed its May Waterfowl Breeding […]

TPWD Seeks Public Comment for Proposed Carcass Movement and Disposal Regulations

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking public comment before its November Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting on proposed changes to carcass disposal regulations. TPWD will take public comment on the following proposed changes to the carcass movement and disposal regulations for all Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) susceptible species, with input considered before any action by the commissioners at their November meeting. These proposed rules would apply when hunter-harvested deer are transported from the ranch […]

Summer Photo Contest Winner Chosen; “Fall in Love With Your Park” is Final Theme

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wrapped up the summer portion of the Texas State Parks Centennial Photo Contest, choosing a winner from more than 740 entries. The winning photo for the “Keepin’ it Cool at Texas State Parks” summer theme was taken by Heather Averill and features an otherworldly underwater view of Balmorhea State Park’s spring-fed pool. Averill is the third seasonal theme winner and is automatically entered into the grand prize drawing at the end […]

Emergency Rule Adopted, New Surveillance Zone Created in Kimble County    

In response to a positive detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a deer breeding facility, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has adopted an emergency rule  implementing a new surveillance zone in Kimble County. Surveillance zones cover areas where the presence of CWD could reasonably be expected, enhancing efforts to monitor and contain disease spread. All harvested deer, elk or CWD-susceptible species within the zone must be brought to a TPWD check station or […]

Rewards Doubled for Reporting Alligator Snapping Turtle Poaching

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is offering rewards of up to $1,000 for Texans who report poaching of alligator snapping turtles through Texas’ wildlife crime-stoppers program, Operation Game Thief (OGT).  Thanks to additional funds from the agency’s Conservation License Plate Program, the reward can be doubled if the tip leads to convictions for snapping turtle cases. The alligator snapping turtle is a freshwater turtle that resembles a small alligator with a ridged shell. Their range extends from the eastern […]