FT 2 - CANCELLED  The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve: Managing for Multiple Endangered Species in an Urban Preserve System

Saturday, August 6, 2011: 6:30 AM-5:30 PM
Trinity Street Lobby Field Trip Pick Up, Austin Convention Center
Organizers: Lisa O'Donnell and Linda Laack
The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP) is a 30,000-acre system of preserves near Austin, Texas, that was established to protect eight endangered species (Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, 6 karst invertebrates) and 27 species of concern (Canyon Mock-Orange, Texabama Croton, 25 karst invertebrates). The BCP is the result of one of the first regional multi-species habitat conservation plans/incidental take permits ever issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and has served as a national model for other communities. The BCP is managed by multiple partners, including Travis County and City of Austin in cooperation with the Lower Colorado River Authority, The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Travis Audubon Society, and private landowners. The BCP provides habitat for a number of rare and endangered plant and animal species found nowhere else on earth. This field trip will highlight the habitat of these species and focus on the challenges of managing endangered species in a rapidly urbanizing area. While the Golden-cheeked Warblers will be on their way back to Central America in August, we may still see or hear Black-capped Vireos and some of our more common Hill Country specialties, such as the Painted Bunting. We will hike through prime warbler habitat and visit areas being actively managed for vireos. We will visit springs that support rare salamanders and caves that harbor endangered and rare fauna. We will end the day either swimming on Barton Creek (if it is flowing in mid-August) or at Barton Springs Pool. For more information about the BCP: http://www.co.travis.tx.us/tnr/bccp/bc_preserve.asp http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/water/wildland/bcp.htm

Registration Fee: $73

Equipment and Attire: There will be some moderate-level hiking during hot weather. Attendees should wear protective clothing, including light-weight long pants and sturdy hiking shoes. A bathing suit, towel, hat, and sunscreen are also recommended.

Itinerary: 6:15-7:00 Drive from Convention Center to Travis County's BCP office (Nootsie tract) 7:00-8:45 Overview of the BCP, eat breakfast during presentation. Visit active Black-capped Vireo habitat. Management issues will include managing for species with different habitat requirements in an urban preserve system. 8:45-9:00 Drive to Hamilton East/West tracts in the Bull Creek watershed 9:00-11:30 Hamilton East/West tracts. Geohydrology, including connections between caves, springs, and creeks. View entrances of caves with rare invertebrates, and visit springs with Jollyville Plateau salamanders surrounded by prime Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat. Management issues will include wildland-urban interface, oak regeneration, and herbivores. 11:30-12:00 Drive to Wild Basin 12:00-1:00 Wild Basin headquarters. Overview of Wild Basin and Vireo Preserve, including presentation on Vireo Habitat Through Time. Lunch during presentations. Management issues will focus on challenges associated with small preserves. 1:00-1:15 Drive to Barton Creek 1:15-3:00 Baron Creek. Bracted twistflower and Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat. Topics for discussion will include oak wilt, invasive species, public access, and management limitations. 3:00-3:30 Drive to Barton Springs Pool if Barton Creek is dry 3:30-4:45 Swim at Barton Creek or Barton Springs Pool 4:45-5:00 Travel back to Convention Center

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