Oaks and Prairies, Edwards Plateau, Tamaulipas Brushlands and Chihuahuan Desert

Ducks Unlimited conservation priority area, migration and wintering habitat for thousands of ducks and geese

Photo © Chris Buckner

The Oaks and Prairies and Tamaulipas Brushlands both have isolated wetlands that provide migration and winter habitat for ducks and geese.

Habitat conditions in both regions vary with annual rainfall, particularly in the Tamaulipas Brushlands. Habitat conditions are less variable in the Oaks and Prairies region where stock ponds and reservoirs provide aquatic vegetation, and habitat from which birds can roost and feed in adjacent agricultural fields. Limited opportunities may exist to protect tracts with valuable wetlands or higher densities of wetlands through conservation easements.

The Edwards Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert have very limited numbers of wetlands and stock ponds that provide migration and winter habitat for several hundred to several thousand ducks and geese.

Importance to waterfowl

  • The Oaks and Prairies and Tamaulipas Brushlands both have isolated wetlands that provide migration and winter habitat for several hundred thousand to over 1 million ducks and geese.
  • Midwinter surveys suggest that these two regions winter at least 1 million ducks each winter:
    • 300,000 to 500,000 gadwalls
    • 200,000 to 450,000 mallards
    • 60,000 to 200,000 American wigeon
    • 30,000 to 100,000 northern pintail

Habitat issues

  • Oaks and Prairies mapHabitats in these regions do not appear to face major threats at this time, although isolated wetlands in the Tamaulipas Brushlands are now vulnerable due to the SWANCC decision.

DU's conservation focus

  • DU Government Affairs staff in Washington, D.C., work to support funding for NAWCA, which funds wetlands projects in these regions.
  • Generally, DU has worked in these areas only through grants to Texas Parks & Wildlife.
  • DU does not anticipate development of broad conservation programs in these regions. Projects are considered on a case-by-case basis, and completed and administered with staff involved in programs targeted at other higher priority areas.

States in the Oaks and Prairies region

New Mexico | Oklahoma | Texas

More information