South Texas, the "Last Great Habitat"

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Concerns about conservation of the tropical rainforests and other well-known regions of the world are widely publicized, yet a region of inestimable biological wealth lies relatively unrecognized on the back doorstep of North America. The region lying south of a line from Port O’Connor to Victoria, northwest to San Antonio and west to Del Rio known as “South Texas” is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world (Fig. ). In fact, it is termed “hyper-diverse” by many ecologists. We feel that conservation of this biological treasure is of urgent concern to policy makers, nature enthusiasts, and the general public throughout the region and nation.

Because virtually all land in South Texas is privately owned, incentives are needed that enable landowners to retain ownership and keep the habitat in an unfragmented condition. These incentives might include conservation easements and tax breaks for wildlife conservation or business ventures focused on outdoor recreation.

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