Our partners may at times develop work groups based on specific conservation issues and quasi-established when a certain geographic area or conservation topic needs special attention and expertise. One such work group is the
Edwards Plateau, Texas Work Group
Formed to bring partners together to develop priority conservation goals for an area of central Texas where rapid changes, such as population growth, urbanization, land use change, and climate change, are dramatically affecting the ecology.
The unique karst hydrology of the Edwards Plateau area feeds the Edwards Aquifer, the primary water source for the city of San Antonio, America’s eighth-largest city. Increased water demands associated with the burgeoning population are altering aquatic systems and imperiling dozens of species, including focal species such as Eurycea salamanders, Guadalupe bass (the state fish of Texas), and several other freshwater fish.
The Edwards Plateau is home to wildlife ranging from golden-cheeked warblers, cedar waxwings, and indigo buntings; to cave-dwelling species such as the Brazilian (Mexican) free-tailed bat, to bobcats, armadillos, turkey, and javelinas.
Marshalling a network of partners is the first step in improving conservation in this area. Initial efforts will include development of shared spatial data to help identify and prioritize conservation efforts; later, computer modeling tools with information on habitat, land use, climate change, and urban growth projections will greatly support SGP partners’ conservation efforts for this ecologically important region in the future.
The “Edwards to Gulf Landscape Conservation Design” effort is one example of how the EPWG (Edwards Plateau Work Group) saw a need for a more formal, science-based panning effort to coordinate data development and information sharing.