Conservation Partners connecting working lands conservation from the Gulf of Mexico to the High Plains with the vision of a sustainable landscape of natural resources resilient to the threats and stressors associated with our changing world.

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  • Blackland Prairie

    Named for its rich, dark soil, the Blackland Prairie runs from the Texas-Oklahoma border through to southwestern Texas. Largely converted to agriculture, it still includes forest-grasslands, savanna, and Tamaulipan mezquital.

  • Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Many of the Southern Great Plains science projects are focused on conserving the Gulf of Mexico coastal habitats and wildlife. Sea turtles are among the Southern Great Plains’s focal species. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Whooping Cranes

    The Gulf Coast of Texas is an important wintering area for the endangered whooping crane. It has rebounded from only 21 birds in the wild in the 1940s to around 600 today. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Gulf Coast

    An overarching conservation priority in the SGP is protecting and restoring Gulf of Mexico coastal habitats and wildlife. Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2006

  • Northern Bobwhite - TWPD

    The northern bobwhite is an iconic species of the Southern Great Plains. It ranges throughout the eastern and Midwestern U.S. and eastern Mexico, but has declined by as much as 90 percent in some areas. Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2006

  • Quadrula

    Making up a group of more than 20 freshwater mussel species, quadrula are a Southern Great Plains focal species found within the Mississippi River system. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Green Jay

    Birders flock to south Texas for some of the best bird-watching in the world. Colorful songbirds, such as the green jay, are among the main attractions. Photo courtesy Rich Kostecke of The Nature Conservancy

  • Olive Sparrow

    Conservation efforts to restore habitat in the Lower Rio Grande Valley will help songbirds, such as the olive sparrow. Photo courtesy Rich Kostecke of The Nature Conservancy

  • Enchanted Rock

    The Enchanted Rock area of Texas, referring to an enormous pink granite dome, is situated in the hill country of Texas, northwest of Austin, amid grasslands and shrublands.

  • Alligator Gar - TPWD

    The alligator gar, a Southern Great Plains focal species and a popular sportfish, can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh more than 300 pounds. It lives in large rivers and reservoirs. Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2006

Southern Great Plains (SGP) conservation partnerships have roots in the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC), with goals to foster, share, and  develop the science needed by partners to conserve and manage natural and cultural resources, particularly through  GIS technology and climate science.

The original partnership included over 120 million acres, including areas within five states (Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas) in the south-central United States and portions of three states in northeastern Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas).

The majority of the area is in eastern Texas, central Oklahoma, and northeastern Mexico, but it also includes the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Mexico north-eastward through Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as a small part of south-central Kansas.

Prime habitats within our shared interests in conservation range from tallgrass prairie and semi-desert shrublands, to oak hardwood and pine forests, to tidal wetlands and barrier islands.  Several major waterways lace through our SGP area, including the lower Rio Grande, Guadalupe, Brazos, Trinity, Nueces, Arkansas, Red, San Antonio, and Mississippi Rivers, as well as some of our continent’s most wildlife-rich coastal wetlands.

These waterways not only serve as a lifeline for wildlife, they also contribute significantly to our economic prosperity because of their importance to tourism and outdoor recreation, commercial fishing, and shipping and transportation. The area’s water resources also provide groundwater supplies for some of our fastest-growing population centers.

More than 500 kinds of birds and 300 butterfly species can be found within the Southern Great Plains landscape, including the northern bobwhite, eastern meadowlark, black-capped vireo, and monarch butterfly. Other well-known species include the blue crab, Guadalupe bass, diamondback terrapin, horned lizard, ocelot, ornate turtle, redfish, and spotted skunk.