From parakeets to fire ants, nilgai to tamarisk trees, invasives have integrated into the state's ecosystems — and managing them means asking hard questions.
In March, I drove down to the Sabal Palm Sanctuary on the southernmost border of Texas, where Brazilian bougainvillea shimmers over the seasonal marshes. I was there to join local researchers in searching for native salamanders. But as we walked … Read More
A new documentary chronicling a rodent’s invasion of the Gulf Coast is part quirky tale, part sobering climate change parable.
In 1938, E.A. McIlhenny — Louisiana naturalist, businessman and scion of the Tabasco hot sauce fortune — decided to give the fur business a gift. McIlhenny had been farming nutria, a large, semi-aquatic South American rodent. After ending up with … Read More
Michael Smith and Clint King's entertaining and rambling book recounts years of cold-blooded adventuring.
When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time hunting for critters. The Dallas suburbs are a resolutely tamed landscape, with little in the way of big wildlife. But if I kept a close eye out, I could … Read More
Long considered “trash fish,” alligator gar have patrolled Texas rivers for millions of years. Now this living fossil may finally be getting its due.
In Texas, One of the World’s Oldest, Weirdest Fish Finally Gets its Due Long considered “trash fish,” alligator gar have patrolled Texas rivers for millions of years. Now this living fossil is catching the attention of anglers, naturalists and TV … Read More
At first glance, the book appears to be a textbook. But it soon transforms into a welcome collection of oddities, a bestiary of the strange, unexpected and overlooked.
On December 7, 1941, two events coincided in a wholly unpredictable way. That the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor is household knowledge. Less well known is that a dentist — one Lytle Adams of Irwin, Pennsylvania — was driving home that … Read More
Berwald pops between scientific conferences and labs, fishes for giant jellyfish off the coast of Japan and dives with a swarm in Israel.
Jellyfish drift. It’s practically their defining feature. Many creatures have hard parts of one kind or another; jellies are 95 percent water, and look it. Their bodies pulse with motion, from the slow contractions of gelatinous bells to the drifting … Read More
A visit to the crown jewel of the national wildlife refuge system, now under threat from Trump's wall, reveals a harsh landscape teeming with life.
Field Notes from Santa Ana A visit to the crown jewel of the national wildlife refuge system, now under threat from Trump’s wall, reveals a harsh landscape teeming with life. The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is a 3.3-square-mile tract … Read More
Whether you need love or money, safety or security, Santa Muerte is open for business—and business is booming.
Santa Muerte also protects those who work in darkness: cabbies and street kids, prostitutes and petty hustlers, cops and soldiers. Read More
There's a war on feral hogs in Texas, and the hogs are winning.
Turning Tail There’s a war on feral hogs in Texas, and the hogs are winning. by Asher Elbein July 24, 2017 When night falls on Storm Ranch, a 5,700-acre expanse in Dripping Springs, it falls purple and soft over fields … Read More