As Texas becomes increasingly urban, the need for nature in our cities becomes more and more critical. Over 86% of the Texas population live in urban areas. The six largest metropolitan areas (Metropolitan Statistical Areas including Houston, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, and the lower Rio Grande Valley) combined total over 70% of the state's population. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Urban Wildlife Program has Urban Biologists stationed in the top six areas to provide urban communities with professional planning guidance, management recommendations, research and public outreach associated with wildlife, habitat and natural resource management. Each Urban Wildlife Program office offers public assistance including:
- Technical Guidance: Urban biologists provide technical assistance to the public, corporations, private landowners, conservation organizations, and local governments regarding issues pertaining to natural resource management, site assessment, and sensitive wildlife populations.
- Public Education: Urban biologists conduct educational programs to various groups including, builders & developers, conservation groups, schools, homeowner associations, city officials, etc. Program topics include but are not limited to: general urban wildlife information, planning for quality open space, native Texas wildlife, habitat restoration, managing conflict between people and wildlife, native landscaping, and many more. Many of the offices offer loaner materials for educators. Contact your local Urban Wildlife Program office for additional topics, educational resources, and upcoming workshops in your area.
- City and Regional Planning: Urban biologists offer assistance with public policy, city and park master plans, sustainable development planning, water quality planning, transportation planning, and habitat management for municipalities.
- Data Collection and Research: Urban biologists conduct various projects involving biological and environmental surveys, investigative research, and scientific studies in the area of wildlife and resource conservation and management.