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2011-11-17

Master Naturalists & birds of Love Creek Preserve

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Love Creek Preserve is a unique ecological treasure in far western Bandera County, a region referred to as the Bandera Canyonlands. The Texas Nature Conservancy acquired 1,400 acres in 2000 and added an additional 636 contiguous acres, in two separate tracts, in early 2011. The preserve is home to a great diversity of plant and animal species including rare and endangered forbs, cacti, fish, amphibians and birds.
The presence of endangered bird species, notably the Golden-Cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo, played an important role in both the acquisition of the property and the continued science of documenting species diversity and population.
Dr. Richard Kostecke will discuss the life history of those two species, including bird populations and management of their environment, at the Monday, Nov. 21, meeting of the Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist.
The monthly meeting takes place at the Upper Guadalupe River Authority lecture hall, 125 Lehmann Drive, in Kerrville.
Kostecke will describe the history of bird surveys at Love Creek, especially the just-completed, comprehensive 2011 study. Over a period of three months in the spring and summer of 2011, systematic data were acquired from approximately 100 grid points covering the entire preserve to provide identification and population distributions of the avian community.
He will provide a perspective on the regional and global recovery goals for the Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo. Kostecke will also describe some of the surprising and serendipitous discoveries that emerged from the 2011 survey.
Additionally, he will also discuss opportunities for volunteers to help the conservancy learn more about Love Creek's avifauna, and talk about plans to make the Love Creek site a "platform" preserve.
The director of Research and Planning for the Nature Conservancy of Texas, Kostecke is an avid birder with interests in butterflies, dragonflies and other critters. He began his educational career with a BS in Biology from the University of Kansas, continued on with an MS in zoology from North Dakota State University and earned a PhD in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
His work experience includes bird surveys in the Rio Grande National Forest, owl studies in California and studies of various waterfowl along parts of the Missouri River. For six years, Kostecke has been involved in various aspects of surveys, policy and technical issues and outreach programs centered on the two primary endangered and migratory birds at Fort Hood - namely the BC vireo and the GC Warbler.
For the past two years, Kostecke has serves as program director for the Nature Conservancy's research and adaptive management of endangered songbirds, notably the Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler, as well as other migratory birds and their habitats at Fort Hood Military Reservation.
The monthly meeting of the Master Naturalist begins with socializing at 6:30, pm, with the program starting at 7 pm.
For more information, contact Vice President of Programs Bob McKinley at 830-535-6211, 713-503-3914 or bobmac9827@gmail.com. Website for the Hill Country Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist is http://txmn.org/hillcountry