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Winter storm's impact to fish, wildlife

Tony Reisinger, Texas AgriLife Extension reisnger-tony-turtles.jpg
Sea turtles rescued during Winter Storm Uri. Upcoming seminar to address impact of storm on wildlife.
Texas Master Naturalist presentation will cover recovery, future storm preparation

The Texas Master Naturalist Program will present an “Impacts of Winter Storm Uri on Texas Fish and Wildlife” webinar from noon-3 p.m. on April 13.

Winter Storm Uri swept through Texas Feb. 11-13, impacting wildlife, plants and the state’s ecosystems. National headlines focused on the work being done in Texas to save and protect wildlife, from rescuing cold-stunned turtles and wintering bat populations to the impacts on coastal fisheries and bee populations.

“We’ll get to answer the questions still lingering from this extreme weather event and learn how our resources adapt and recover from this and possible future events,” said Michelle Haggerty, state program coordinator, Texas Master Naturalist Program. The Texas Master Naturalist Program’s mission is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their Texas communities.

“Our Texas Master Naturalist volunteers are eager to learn about the effects from the polar vortex on natural resource flora and fauna in Texas, but more specifically, what recovery looks like.”

See, Honeybees might need extra care post-Winter Storm Uri

Speakers, topics

The webinar, co-sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), will address how this storm's impacts can be scaled on a statewide level and discuss what can be done to prepare for a similar future event. Topics and presenters are as follows:

  • Overview of Winter Storm Uri and the Historical Significance of This Winter Event– John Nielsen Gammon, Texas A&M University Regents Professor and Texas State Climatologist, Bryan-College Station.
  • Overview of Texas Park and Wildlife Department’s Winter Storm Uri iNaturalist Project— Tania Homayoun, TPWD Texas Nature Trackers Program biologist, Austin.
  • Impacts to Birds — Cliff Shackelford, TPWD ornithologist, Austin.
  • Impacts to Bats — Nathan Fuller, TPWD bat biologist, Austin.
  • Impacts to Exotics — James Gallagher, TPWD natural resource specialist, Austin.
  • Impacts to Fish and Other Aquatic Species — Dakus Geeslin, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division, chief of science and policy resources, Austin.
  • Impacts to Sea Turtles — Tony Reisinger, Texas A&M Sea Grant agent, San Benito.
  • Impacts to Plants and Insects and other Naturalist Observations — Craig Hensley, TPWD Texas Nature Trackers biologist, Austin.
  • Where Do We Go from Here and What Can Texas Master Naturalists Do to Prepare for the Next Winter Event — Jonah Evans, TPWD mammologist and non-game and rare species program leader, Austin.

Preregistration is required for the free webinar at The seminar is part of the monthly #TMNTuesday series, which aims to bring natural resources stewardship, management and education to its members and the public through engaging online sessions.

This event will also be live-streamed to the Texas Master Naturalist Program FaceBook page and recorded for viewing on the Texas Master Naturalist Programs website.

Source: is AgriLife TODAY, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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