BCR 37 - Gulf Coastal Prairie

BCR 37 mapFlat grassland and marsh hugs the coast of the Gulf of Mexico from the mouth of the Rio Grande, up into the rice country of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, and across the great Louisiana marshlands of the mouth of the Mississippi River. They feature one of the greatest concentrations of colonial waterbirds in the world, with breeding Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Brown Pelican, and large numbers of herons, egrets, ibis, terns, and skimmers. The region provides critical in-transit habitat for migrating shorebirds, including Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Hudsonian Godwit, and for most of the Neotropical migrant forest birds of eastern North America. Mottled Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, and Purple Gallinule also breed in wetlands, and winter numbers of waterfowl are among the highest on the continent. These include dabbling ducks (especially Northern Pintail and Gadwall), Redhead, Lesser Scaup, and White-fronted Geese from both the Central and Mississippi Flyways. The most important waterfowl habitats of the area are coastal marsh, shallow estuarine bays and lagoons, and wetlands on agricultural lands of the rice prairies. Loss and degradation of wetland habitats due to subsidence, sea level rise, shoreline erosion, freshwater and sediment deprivation, saltwater intrusion, oil and gas canals, and navigation channels and associated maintenance dredging are the most important problems facing the area's wetland wildlife.


ABC-designated Globally Important Bird Areas in this BCR

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge and Moody National Wildlife Refuge

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge

Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

Columbia Bottomlands

Hazel Bazemore Park, and Texas hawkwatch sites, including Candy Cain Abshier Wildlife Management Area and Smith Point

High Island

Katy Prairie

Kenedy Ranch

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

Mad Island Marsh Wildlife Complex, including Mad Island Wildlife Management Area and Mad Island Marsh Preserve

Matagorda Island State Park and Wildlife Management Area

McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge

Padre Island National Seashore, including South Padre Island Preserve

Sabal Palm Grove Sanctuary

San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge

Sea Rim State Park

Texas City Prairie Preserve