Wild Texas Film Tour

The Friends of the Attwater Prairie Chicken Refuge funded a new short film about the refuge entitled “Little Grouse on the Prairie.” The film was accepted into the Wild Texas Film Tour, and it was shown in 14 Texas cities from January through March 2019.

National Wildlife Refuges are important for the conservation of wildlife and their habitats, but there are many public organizations that also work to protect America’s natural resources. Many refuges are supported by Friends groups, which are non-profit organizations that work to further the purposes and objectives of specific refuges.

The Friends of the Attwater Prairie Chicken Refuge has partnered with the Attwater Prairie Chicken Wildlife Refuge since 2010, and the organization has supported projects that aid in the recovery of the Attwater’s prairie-chicken. The non-profit also helps organize the annual Attwater’s Prairie Chicken Festival in April.

In the refuge visitors center, there is a short film about the Attwater’s prairie chicken and the work the refuge and other partners do to recover the species. This video is almost ten years old, and it no longer reflects all the current management programs on the refuge. The Friends agreed to develop a new short film for the refuge, both for use in the visitors center and as an outreach video.

The Friends bought GoPro cameras in 2016, and the refuge staff spent 2017 and part of 2018 collecting footage on the cameras. The GoPros travelled with refuge staff as they conducted work with prairie-chickens, planted native grasses, led tours of the refuge, and carried out their other normal duties. Once enough footage was collected, the Friends hired a videographer to collect additional footage and produce the new short film.

The film, entitled “Little Grouse on the Prairie,” was accepted into the 2019 Wild Texas Film Tour. The tour showcases short films about wildlife, adventure, and conservation stories in Texas. There were 14 stops on the tour that spanned across the state from El Paso to Lubbock to Houston, and it began on January 15 and ended on March 1, 2019. After the film showings, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions to spokespeople for the films. Refuge staff and Friends group members attended several of the showings, and they were able to educate hundreds of people about the Attwater’s prairie-chicken.

“Little Grouse on the Prairie” is available to watch on the Friends group website, and it will soon be playing in the refuge’s visitors center. The film will be a useful resource for the refuge and its partners in the future, and it could not have been possible without the dedication of the Friends group.