Texas Wildlife and Nature Information

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picture of the Rio Grand River in Texas
Texas offers great outdoor recreation adventures from the tropical trails of the south to the wildflower covered trails in the north. Texas wildlife is always part of the mix.

The state’s southern border the Rio Grande river (pictured) partly defines subtropical Texas. The area is very well known for the wildlife diversity it adds to the state. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Known as the lower Rio Grande Valley, the lower four counties of Texas contain a documented 1,200 plants, 300 butterflies, and approximately 700 vertebrates, of which at least 520 are birds. It is to protect this important biodiversity that the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge was established.

More often than not the Texas traveler starts in one of the state’s largest cities. Houston, for example, is a recreation center in and of itself. Of course most residents and visitors will never see the larger carnivores such as bears roaming the city. Nevertheless, it’s proximity to the coast and its famous urban sprawl translates into consistent human and wildlife contact.

Some of the contact is more benign that others. The state of Texas, for example, lists eighteen separate wildlife rehabilitators in Harris county that deal with all those times human wildlife interaction does not turn out well for the wildlife. They deal with all types of wildlife including common small mammals such as raccoons and squirrels, birds, amphibians and reptiles.

picture of a nine banded armadillo in Texas
Texans also enjoy celebrating their biodiversity. They have not one but three state mammals: The official flying mammal is the Mexican Free-tailed Bat. The Longhorn is the official state large mamma. And the Nine-banded Armadillo is the official state small mammal.

Land size and location contributed much to the diversity of Texas wildlife. They lead the list of highest number of species for many categories including butterflies and dragonflies. High wildlife biodiversity also translates into the state hosting many types of endangered species.

Along the Texas Gulf Coast, for example, the Fin Whale, Manatee and the Sea Turtles are listed as endangered. About ten different arachnids, most of them spiders, are also listed as endangered.

Please press one of the buttons to learn more about a specific Texas Wildlife topic.