Record drought is taking its toll in Texas on everything from wildlife to water bills and that has many people seeking new ways of coping with nature. In an effort to help, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department this week converted its main water resource website to feature an online Drought Survival Kit.
The new online resource comes in three sets of web pages.
The Help Wildlife
section explains how Texas critters handle drought and advises when and whether to intervene with Mother Nature. For example, it tells how to help birds and butterflies with native plants, and why people should never feed wildlife such as raccoons, deer and opossums.
The Save Your Yard
web section recognizes that trying to keep St. Augustine grass and other non-native "water hogs" alive during the drought can be expensive and frustrating. It suggests how, as weather conditions improve, it's time to think about replacing drought-stricken yards with native "Wildscapes" that are better suited for surviving Texas weather. These are colorful, require little water or care, and attract birds, butterflies and other native wildlife.
The Cut Your Water Bill section covers a few simple ways to save water and money, and links to more information on the Texas Water Development Board's Water IQ website
TPWD's Drought Survival Kit also links to several other useful resources:
--Information on current burn bans, wildfires and more from the Texas Forest Service
--Current stream flow conditions from the U.S. Geological Survey
--Current reservoir levels from the Texas Water Development Board
The survival kit main page also links to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine water resource special issues from the past 10 years. And, it showcases online video documentaries TPWD has produced in partnership with Texas PBS stations.