Flint Hills Resources, LLC

Flint Hills Resources Corpus Christi, LLC Wildlife Learning Preserve

Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

Certified Gold through 2022

Project Name
Project Type
Nestboxes
Avian
FHR awareness
Awareness & Community Engagement
Survey of Reptiles and Amphibians
Reptiles & Amphibians
Mammalian Survey
Mammals
Avian Surveys
Avian
Attracting Butterflies Project
Pollinators

Introduction
The Flint Hill Resources Corpus Christi, LLC Wildlife Learning Preserve is located in southern coastal Texas, encompassing a 130-acre property with a diversity of upland and wetland habitats. These habitats are home to many different species of wildlife (birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians). This property is used by local high school and university instructors to provide practical, real world outdoor education experiences to up-and-coming natural resource majors. A comprehensive and scientifically rigorous monitoring approach is used for all major species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians and helps teach students about wildlife habitat, field skills (e.g., live trapping) and population monitoring work.

Practices and Impacts

  • Nest boxes were constructed from cedarwood by secondary and college-age students and placed in the mesquite brushland and wetland habitats of the FHR Wildlife Learning Preserve.
  •  Seventy-two avian species, totaling 2,054 birds, were observed on the FHR Wildlife Preserve between 2017 and 2019. During any season, wetlands had 16.8 species and 81 birds, followed by mesquite shrubland with 13.8 species and 70.5 birds, and grasslands with 10 species and 35 birds
  • Eight Members of the TAMUK Wildlife Society taught a 23-student high school class about the importance of conservation efforts, the history of waterfowl management in America, species' needs for food, water and cover, and the requirements of reproduction.
  • Brush piles provide shelter to wildlife including cottontail rabbits.
  • Bat houses were erected 25 feet above the ground on a hill overlooking the wetland habitat. Six solar powered lights were fixed to the top of the bat hotel to attract flying insects at night, providing bats with food as they leave the hotel structure. The structure has been used by Brazilian free-tailed bats.
  • A record of mammalian species richness, relative abundance, and Simpson’s Diversity Index were recorded for each season. A total of 26 mammalian species with an overall relative abundance of 1,109 animals were observed during 2017-2019 surveys.
  • Seasonal surveys to obtain the relative abundance of amphibians and reptiles were done on the FHR Wildlife Preserve during 2017–2019. The surveys included observations during walking transcripts, hand-capture of live specimens, pitfall traps and funnel traps. Two amphibians and 13 reptile species were observed.
  • The team tested, and confirmed, a hypothesis that more butterflies and species of butterflies would be attracted to and spend more time in the flower boxes that contained spray misters enticing butterflies as pollinators to specific areas.
  • Six wooden flower boxes have been seeded with Shasta daisy, wild cosmos, sunflower sunspot, sweet alyssum, baby blue eyes, Mexican hat, black-eyed Susan, African marigold, zinnia, California poppy and Indian blanket. Fifteen butterfly species, including painted ladies, monarchs and American ladies, made 215 visits and spent over two hours within the boxes.
  • The property is used throughout the year to provide students of various ages with an outdoor learning experience through hands-on learning. Activities include surveys for birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians

DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY