Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Coordinates: 30°37′21″N 98°04′06″W / 30.62250°N 98.06833°W / 30.62250; -98.06833
Balcones Canyonlands
National Wildlife Refuge
Balcones-canyonlands-nat-wildlife-refuge.jpg
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Country  United States
State  Texas
Region Texas Hill Country
Nearest major city Austin, Texas
Nearest river Colorado River (Texas)
Coordinates 30°37′21″N 98°04′06″W / 30.62250°N 98.06833°W / 30.62250; -98.06833
Highest point
 - elevation 750 m (2,461 ft)
Lowest point
 - elevation 300 m (984 ft)
Area 186 km2 (72 sq mi)
Founded 1992
Management United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Map of Refuge
Website: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Balcones Canyonlands is a National Wildlife Refuge located in the Texas Hill Country to the northwest of Austin.[1] The Refuge was formed in 1992 to conserve habitat for two endangered songbirds including the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo and to preserve Texas Hill Country habitat for numerous other wildlife species.[2] The Refuge augments a similarly named preserve in Austin called the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.

The Refuge is located within a deeply dissected portion of the Edwards Plateau that contains many steep-banked streams and canyons.[3] The canyons facing Austin are deeply etched into the limestone of the Edwards Plateau by tributaries of the Colorado River.

Beneath the surface of the Edwards Plateau lies an underground labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and springs. Various spiders, beetles, and other creatures inhabit this below-ground world and are unique to this area of Texas. Even deeper below the surface lies the Edwards Aquifer, which stores billions of gallons of water and supplies drinking water for almost one million people. The aquifer is also the source of many springs that feed Hill Country rivers, which eventually flow into the marshes, estuaries, and bays along the Texas coast.[3]

The vegetation found in the Hill Country includes various oaks, elms, and Ashe juniper trees (often referred to as "cedar" in Texas). The endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo depend on different successional stages of this vegetation. Both of these birds nest in the Edwards Plateau, the Warbler exclusively.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ United States Fish and Wildlife Service. "Overview". Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  2. ^ U.S. Senate, Committee on Appropriations. 2006. Prepared statement of Friends of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Senate Hearings, Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations, HR 2361, pp. 174-175.
  3. ^ a b United States Fish and Wildlife Service. "Wildlife & Habitat". Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  4. ^ United States Fish and Wildlife Service. "Visit". Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 

External links[edit]



 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.