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Forest Thinning Project Underway In Texas

Cara J

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The Nature Conservancy’s Davis Mountains Preserve in western Texas is undergoing a much needed forest thinning project, courtesy of a partnership between the Conservancy and the Texas A&M Forest Service, that will help re-stabilize vital sky island habitat in the region. Sky islands are areas found throughout the American Southwest and northwestern Mexico where mountain ranges rise above the surrounding desert to create unique biologically, topographically and climatically diverse ecosystems. “Because they have so much elevation they’re a lot cooler and wetter,” said Charlotte Reemts, The Nature Conservancy’s lead ecologist on the project. “And so there are species in these sky islands that are found nowhere else in the state and most of these species are isolated.” Located in the Chihuahuan desert, the Davis Mountains are one of only three sky island ecosystems in Texas. This 33,075-acre preserve provides habitat for species such as the robust cottontail (Sylvilagus robustus), or Davis Mountains cottontail, which is now found only in the Davis Mountains. The mountains also support wide-ranging animals such as mountain lions, black bears and many migratory birds that thrive in the high-altitude forests. Many of the plants and animals found in the preserve are “relics” from when the climate [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/forest-thinning-project-underway-in-texas/

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