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Prescribed burn to help endangered songbird

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 by Tai Moses

Photo by Richard Crossley

County residents may see a few tendrils of smoke today and tomorrow as the county parks and natural resources departments, with help from local fire departments, conduct a prescribed burn at the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve’s Kotrla Tract at 22941 Nameless Road. The county says the burn “is intended to improve habitat for the black-capped vireo by removing invading shrubs, consuming dead and downed vegetation, reducing the number of exotic species, and enhancing the health and diversity of the native plant community.” The black-capped vireo is an endangered species that breeds in Central Texas’ increasingly fragmented grassland habitat. According to Travis Audubon, the tiny songbird “is one of the symbols of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, along with the Golden-cheeked Warbler, a reminder of the fragility and rare beauty of the Central Texas landscape.”


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