Resource Management

Aerial prescribed burn operation / USFWS

Refuge staff depend upon and utilize various tools to manage Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge for the benefit of wildlife.

Prescribed Burning
Key food for wildlife includes the leafy portion of plants, flowers, and seeds, as well as underground rhizomes and tubers. If wildfire is suppressed, years of dense vegetation will shade the soil surface, preventing seeds of other plants from germinating or surviving. Burning removes dead plant matter and allows other species of plants to grow.

A productive prescribed burn removes vegetation just above ground. It is usually conducted while there is still some water on the surface. The water prevents the soil from overheating and helps protect the plant’s root systems. After a fire, most vegetation will sprout from the roots and the marsh is quickly covered with new growth. In addition, as the sunlight warms the soil, many other plants will sprout from seed.

Protecting Native Species
Exotic plants are often fast growing and highly invasive, outcompeting native plant species. Because of this, exotic plants can quickly reduce the diversity of vegetation found in a healthy marsh or prairie. Less diversity in the plant community can negatively affect wildlife. Water hyacinth, Chinese tallow, and giant salvinia are a few examples of exotic plant species controlled on the refuge.