The Brazos River Authority’s Environmental Services Department regularly monitors the status of different fish and wildlife species as a way of tracking the health of the Brazos River basin ecosystem.
There are different levels of protection that a species in danger may be placed under on a state and federal level. The state of Texas provides two levels of protection: threatened and endangered species listing. On the federal level, species can also be designated as threatened or endangered.
A plant or animal can be protected as threatened at both the state and federal levels at the same time. The level of protection provided by state and federal regulations is different, with federal laws providing stronger protections than the state level protections.
Threatened species are plants or animals that are likely to become endangered in the near future.
Determining the reason for an ecosystem imbalance that is causing the number of plants or animals in a species to decline allows allows natural resource agencies to develop a plan to correct the imbalance.
When the results of monitoring begin to show changes, state and federal resource agencies along with local stakeholders, work together to identify the cause and make improvements that can aid the continued health and quality of the basin’s water supply.
Maintaining a balance allows the planet to continue to provide clean air and water, a reliable food supply, and a positive economy.
When we work to save threatened species, we may just be saving ourselves.
Currently, threatened species known to occur in parts of the Brazos basin are: