Conservation deal to protect animal habitats in South Texas
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (AP) — The Nature Conservancy says it will acquire more than 6,200 acres in South Texas as part of the largest conservation effort on South Padre Island in two decades.
The conservancy announced Thursday that the nearly $16 million purchase will secure part of South Padre’s last unprotected stretch of land.
Officials say the purchase is important for safeguarding the habitat for 16 species that have federal or state conservation status, including the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, peregrine falcon and various migrant birds.
The newly protected land will be incorporated into the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.
Most of the funding for the purchase is coming from the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The rest will come from a settlement resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.