The public engagement content of this page and its hyperlinked material was collaboratively produced by Laurel Treviño, Shalene Jha, and other lab members. You may use this material for educational and conservation purposes. Please email Laurel if you have questions or comments about this page.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Non-game and Rare Species Program has recommendations for landowners that want to manage habitat for native insect pollinators, including native bees. These guidelines differ from those designed for the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera), which currently help bee-keepers’ land qualify for tax valuations.
Native pollinators, including hundreds of native bee species, may be considered as small wildlife whose habitat can be managed for tax appraisal purposes. Currently, land that qualified for agricultural tax appraisals for 5 years may transition to wildlife use so that populations of some large indigenous species can be managed with, or instead of, the crops produced on the land. Tax valuations may apply to land that is managed for agriculture, timber or wildlife use. The Texas state Comptroller’s Office administers special appraisals through each central County Appraisal District, CAD office.
For land to qualify for a wildlife tax appraisal, landowners must implement management practices that sustain populations of the species in question. To this end, landowners must write and submit a wildlife management plan (such as this WMP) that includes 3 of 7 management practices listed below and described in the 1-D-1 (Open-Space) form. TPWD biologists or USDA-NRCS providers can give guidance on wildlife management plans.
Tips for Managing Native Wildlife Habitat
To sustain healthy populations of wildlife, a landowner can implement 3 of 7 measures:
- Provide shelter, water, or food (see Texas prairie plants for native bees.pdf), or
- Manage habitat, erosion, or predators (see Pollinator Habitat Conservation.pdf), or
- Do population censuses (see pollinator survey instructions below).
If tax incentives are given for the management native pollinator habitat, landowners may choose to do pollinator censuses to check the impact of their practices. The Jha Lab encourages using standardized pollinator survey guidelines and data sheets designed for use with our Texas pollinator guide. We can help analyze survey results to visualize trends and gauge management success, a component of annual reports required by tax appraisers. You may upload survey data on a Pollinator Survey Google Form or email/mail forms to the addresses below.
- Texas Pollinator Guides (print illustrated species lists of locations near you)
- Texas Bee ID Guide.pdf (print 4 pp. double-sided, short edge bind)
- Native Pollinator Surveys & Management.pdf (print 4 pp. double-sided)
- Survey Data Sheets.pdf (print 4 pp. double-sided)
More Information on Native Pollinators & Private Lands
- TPWD Native pollinator management
- TPWD Native pollinators & private lands; native bees
- TPWD Wildlife management as qualifying agricultural use
- TPWD Agriculture property tax conversion for wildlife
Texas Comptroller’s Office – Property Tax Assistance Division – Wildlife, (800) 252-9121
Laurel Treviño Murphy – Outreach Program Coordinator
205 W. 24th Street
BIO Labs 401
The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Integrative Biology
College of Natural Sciences
Austin, TX 78712