Avian haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium) in Texas are relatively understudied for such a large geographic area with diverse ecoregions. Our study sites in south Texas, located in two adjacent ecoregions, present the opportunity for investigating patterns and possible causes of infections between habitats, and characterizing the baseline makeup of the avian malaria community.
Bats are difficult to study due to their nocturnal, cryptic, and highly vagile nature. Ongoing advances in acoustic recording hardware and call classification software have made species detection and activity monitoring more feasible. Our objectives were to determine the effort necessary to monitor bat assemblages using an occupancy framework and acoustic data and to provide guidelines for researchers interested in developing similar monitoring programs.
The jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) is a small felid with a historical range from central Argentina through southern Texas. Information on the current distribution of this reclusive species is needed to inform recovery strategies in the United States where its last record was in 1986 in Texas. From 2003 to 2021, we conducted camera-trap surveys across southern Texas and northern Tamaulipas, México to survey for medium-sized wild cats (i.e., ocelots [Leopardus pardalis], bobcats [Lynx rufus], and jaguarundi). Based on survey effort and results from México, we would have expected to detect jaguarundis over the course of the study if still extant in Texas. We recommend that state and federal agencies consider jaguarundis as extirpated from the United States and initiate recovery actions as mandated in the federal jaguarundi recovery plan. These recovery actions include identification of suitable habitat in Texas, identification of robust populations in México, and re-introduction of the jaguarundi to Texas.