Wildlife is showing signs of health and becoming more visible to park rangers as parks remain closed.
The Five Mile Dam Parks, Jacob’s Well Natural Area, Bluehole and the Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve are currently closed to the public and closed for swimming. Based on Governor Gregg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas, parks are expected to be fully open by May 15.
In the meantime, Park specialist for education outreach Katherine Sturdivant said with fewer visitors she’s able to focus on conservation and to observe the rich biodiversity of the area.
“I have seen more wildlife then I normally would this time of year. Usually, we have an influx of visitors, but I have noticed foxes making their way in the park during the middle of the day. I’ve heard an overwhelming amount of birds, which is always a great sign,” Sturdivant said.
Typically, in May, swimming areas begin to open and people often stomp out fish spawning beds. Sturdivant said they are now taking as much space as they need to lay their eggs.
The animals are looking healthy and the roar of bird chirps speak to the overall health and biodiversity of the area. The lack of visitors also allows park employees to make major improvements before guests return.
While waiting to return to parks, Sturdivant said to check out virtual educational videos, like a wildflower walk video on the “Jacob’s Well Hays County Info” Facebook page.