West Texas Native Seeds

Colin Shackelford, Brian Miculka, Carlos E. Gonzalez

West Texas Native Seeds is a multi-agency collaborative initiative of the Borderlands Research Institute for Natural Resource Management at Sul Ross State University and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M Kingsville to develop and promote native plants for the restoration and reclamation of habitats on private and public lands across West Texas. Our goal is to provide economically viable sources of native plants and seeds to both the private and public sector for the restoration of native plant communities.

Currently, there are limited sources of commercial native seed adapted for use in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. Those desiring to restore native plants to degraded lands have few suitable options. As a result of the lack of native seeds, exotic grasses are often planted to prevent soil erosion in reclamation projects or following habitat improvement efforts. Exotic grasses have negative impacts to wildlife and the ecosystems they are introduced to. As disturbance and fragmentation increase in West Texas, commercial sources of native seeds for restoration and reclamation will be increasingly important for conservation of the region’s unique biodiversity.

Project objectives:

  • Collect, evaluate, and release seed sources of West Texas native plants to commercial seed producers to facilitate availability of locally adapted native seeds to consumers.
  • Develop and implement restoration and reclamation strategies that can be successfully used to reestablish native plants in disturbed or degraded habitats.
  • Promote the use of native plants in rangeland restoration, highway right-of-way, oil and gas, and energy transmission right-of-way reclamation, as well as in horticulture plantings.

Funding sources: Borderlands Research Institute and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M Kingsville.