About Our Program
There is an increasing need for native plant seed and restoration techniques in South Texas. Native seed is needed for use in publically funded wildlife habitat restoration programs, highway right of way plantings, mitigation of oil and gas production activities, and for improvement of existing wildlife habitat on private and public lands throughout the region. The consequence of not having native seed available for these uses is often the unwanted or unintentional spread of non-native plants. Federal mandates for some programs require re-seeding to prevent soil erosion; if native seed is not available, non-native grasses are often used.
Native plant material, seed, and restoration techniques give private landowners an additional management tool for improving wildlife habitat. As urbanization, transportation infrastructure, and various forms of energy development and exploration increase, insuring that stewards of existing wildlife habitat have native plant seed available to stabilize or improve lands is of critical economic and ecological importance. Native plant seed also gives South Texans a valuable tool in efforts to diversify stands of non-native grasses, an ever increasing concern to landowners focused on providing good wildlife habitat. In order meet these demands, South Texas Natives was created to provide the leadership, initiative, and expertise necessary to meet the challenge of providing native seed to the South Texas region.
The diversity of native South Texas habitats ranges from the fine sands of the Coastal Sand Plain to the caliche ridges of the Bordas Escarpment; and from the riparian woodlands of the Nueces River to the shrublands of the Rio Grande Plains. This diversity supports a wide array of wildlife species, ranging from migratory birds such as sandhill cranes and piping plovers, to more permanent residents such as ocelots and white-tailed deer. This complexity of biological resources comprises what some biologists now call the last great habitat. As urbanization and agricultural changes occur at increasing rates, however, restoration and enhancement of existing native habitats become more urgent.
Native plants are intrinsic to the overall resilience and stability of this unique region, and are a critical component of the numerous food and energy cycles that maintain this biological diversity. The establishment and restoration efforts using native South Texas plants will help to maintain the regions important genetic resources and the ecosystems that are part of our South Texas biological heritage.