Creating a Wildlife Corridor


The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife is a wildlife corridor refuge.  

Wildlife corridors are tracts of land or habitat that are linked and allow wildlife to travel from one location to another to find food, shelter, a mate and a place to raise their young. They are especially important because they ensure genetic exchange between wildlife populations.  The human population is growing and wildlife is getting crowded out. Urbanization, highways and agriculture are just some of the challenges that keep wildlife from dispersing and make them vulnerable to predators and many other dangers.  Wildlife corridors help wildlife travel to the places where they can find what they need.  

In South Texas, approximately 95% of the habitat has been cleared and it is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States.  The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge and its many partners have been working since 1979 to create a wildlife corridor along the Rio Grande from Falcon Dam to the Gulf of Mexico. Land that either has good habitat or connects to habitat is purchased for inclusion of the refuge from willing sellers. In addition to the refuge's efforts, Texas Parks and Wildlife and many non profit organizations, private landowners and local communities are also focused on restoring, protecting and connecting habitat in South Texas. 

When complete, the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge wildlife corridor will be an east-west corridor that follows the Rio Grande and links into the southern tip of a sister refuge, the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.  Through Laguna Atascosa, the connected habitat will extend up into the great Texas ranchlands, where private landowners are doing very important work to protect habitat on their own land. Private landowners are good stewards and the refuge supports those who have an interest in managing for wildlife on their property. We offer private landowners technical assistance, conservation easements and other management tools that are appropriate and of interest to anyone interested in being part of the wildlife corridor.  Mexico is also helping.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also has an agreement with Mexico who is working to create a similar wildlife corridor on the south side of the Rio Grande.   

Buying and connecting land is an important step but much of the land purchased is farm land. It provides connectivity for wildlife but may not have good habitat. To restore the native habitat, the refuge has a native plant nursery where a diversity of trees, plants and shrubs are grown every year to plant within the wildlife corridor.   

The tracts of land that make up the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge wildlife corridor are slowly being connected and restored for the benefit of wildlife.


Helpful Links:
Partners for Fish and Wildlife