South Texas Plains

By:Ali,Jayden and Priyanka!

Come to the south texas plains!

The South Texas plains and brush country stretches from the edges of the Hill Country into the subtropical regions of the Lower Rio Grande valley. Much of the area is dry and covered with grasses and thorny brush such as mesquite and prickly pear cacti.

There are some lakes dotting the region, as well as short-lived "resacas." A resaca is a former channel of the Rio Grande River that has been cut off, like an oxbow. (Floods along the Rio Grande River can change the way the river flows so that some of those twists and turns are cut off from the rest of the river, forming an "oxbow.") Resacas will occasionally fill with silt and water, creating marshes and ponds. The plants and wildlife around the resacas vary seasonally depending on the quantity and quality of the available water.

The Rio Grande is a very long river. Where it flows through South Texas is called the lower Rio Grande valley. The Rio Grande Valley is an ecosystem found nowhere else in the United States. It is a subtropical environment, which lies further south than any other part of the United States except Hawaii and part of Florida. It is very humid. Many tropical birds from South America can be found here. Palms, subtropical woodlands and even citrus trees grow here. The Rio Grande delta (the land at the mouth of the river, where it flows into the ocean) once had an extensive palm forest. The Spanish explorer Alonso Alvarez de Pineda first named the river the Rio de las Palmas, "River of Palms," in 1519. The fertile land along the Rio Grande River has given rise to many farms. Presently, there are only 37 acres of protected palm forest compared to approximately 40,000 acres that once covered the delta region.

Come to our region!

The Texas horned lizard lives here. It has scaly skin with spikes or horns. Two horns are on the top of its head!The oldest fort in the west and an old Spanish mission are in this part of Texas. This is a picture of the mission at Birdwatchers from across the world come to South Texas to view the many birds along the border and coastal areas. The World Birding Center is found here. Hunters also seek special hunts on private ranches here.The Texas Horned Lizard is a reptile that likes to bask in the sun during the morning hours but retreats to shady areas during the hottest hours of the afternoon. It is a fierce looking creature covered with horns or spikes, including two very prominent horns on its head. It is brownish in color. Contrary to its fierce look, this lizard actually has a gentle nature! They spend the day eating ants, sunbathing, and running from predators. One defensive reaction of this lizard is to puff out its body, hiss, and squirt blood from its eyes to scare away predators!

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