Around 30 million people live in Texas, and the state is also home to over 540 bird species and 142 animals living in the ten naturally formed ecoregions covering nearly 267,000 square miles. Each ecoregion has unique characteristics that attract wildlife.
The Pineywoods of East Texas
has rolling hills covered in pine trees, hardwoods, thickets, wetlands, and swamps. The Gulf Coast
is over 21,000 square miles of marshes and prairies that attract wildlife who love the sea. The Post Oak Savannah
, sometimes called the Oak Belt or Cross-Timbers, consists of vast grasslands and patches of oaks in which wildlife can find what they need for survival. The Blackland Prairie
ecoregion gets its name from the black soils, nicknamed black gumbo by locals. It is heavy on agricultural food production today.
The South Texas Plains
range from the hills to the lower Rio Grande Valley and have millions of human residents. Very few people live in the Osage Plains or Cross-Timbers
stretch from central Texas to Kansas, consisting primarily of grasslands, mesas, and patches of forests. Texas hill country, known as the Edwards Plateau
, has secret treasures, like the underground lakes. It also has steep canyons, a river, bat caves, and open grasslands.
Together, the Rolling Plains and the High Plains are inhabited by over one million people. Its diverse soils, vegetation, elevations, and coverage of grasslands, mountains, savannahs, and forests attract numerous wildlife.
Depending on which ecoregion of Texas you live in, you can encounter various wildlife daily.
How Local Factors Can Drive Wildlife Into Your Home
Texas has numerous conservation challenges, forcing wildlife to find new homes and new resources for food and water. Wildlife is affected
by the following:
- Rainstorms and flooding
- Carbon dioxides increase in the air
- Sea levels rising
These factors and the continuous land development for residential and commercial purposes make it difficult for wildlife. Rather than moving away and finding a new home, some animals stay in the area and search for food, water, and shelter in the neighborhood that replaced their living environment. The arrival of new wildlife is another problem.
As global warming continues
, animals migrate to areas more fitting for their lifestyle. Texas can have dangerously hot days and, at times, frigid, freezing nights. Wildlife will travel to look for more suitable resources. Unfortunately, they may find them in your neighborhood, property, or home.
Nuisances By Season
If you watch animal behaviors, you will notice them changing each season. In the winter, some wildlife hibernate or partially hibernate. In the spring, animals are more active in exploring their surroundings. They are working hard to collect and store items to prepare their bodies and dens for colder weather by summer and fall. Texas defines nuisance wildlife as any animal or group of animals that do any of the following:
- Causing a disturbance or annoyance, making it hard to enjoy your property
- Posing a threat to you, your family, or the public
- Causing damage to your home or property
During every season, at least one nuisance wildlife will make an appearance in the neighborhood. You can prevent nuisance behaviors by being aware of the active animals each season.
As spring arrives, trees, plants, and grasses start to green, and the outdoors seems renewed. The wildlife also becomes more active. Animal parents introduce their newborn babies to the world. The animals that spent the cold winter months hibernating awaken as the temperatures rise. As it continues to get warmer, nuisance activity increases from animals.
Summer is when newborn wildlife starts to leave their nests and become more independent. Animals are out of hibernation, eating, and storing for the following winter
Temperatures start to drop in the fall. Reptiles begin searching for warmer places to shelter. Mammals’ coats are getting thicker. They start hoarding more foods and insulating their nests. Animals on your property preparing for winter may include raccoons, jackrabbits, armadillos, and skunks.
During the winter months in Texas, many animals hibernate, waiting for spring. Some wildlife goes dormant, some spend more time in their nests versus outdoors, and some remain active.