Landowners | Naturalists

Laurel Treviño Murphy developed this page and its educational content. You may download and use unaltered PDFs via links on this page for educational or conservation purposes. Please contact Laurel with your questions or comments – (mail address below).

Native Bee Wildlife Biology

This page, intended for naturalists, educators, community scientists, and land managers, has information on native bee and butterfly diversity, identification, life history, and management guidelines to conserve insect pollinator habitat.


Naturalists and Educators can use these resources for courses; nature center interpreters can post photo-illustrated species lists of local native pollinators; and naturalists can identify local bees or butterflies with native pollinator guides. Use this Index to find posters of native bees or butterflies at a nearby site in your ecoregion. Leaflets have information on native insect pollinator identification and conservation.

Land Managers can manage tracts of land for native wildlife with the guidelines for insect pollinator habitat management that were developed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Land designated for wildlife use can be managed to sustain populations of indigenous wildlife species. Habitat can be managed in addition to the land’s production if activities are not detrimental to the targeted species. Equivalent tax valuations may apply whether land is managed for agriculture, ranching, timber extraction, or wildlife. To transition to wildlife use, a 20-acre land tract must have had an agricultural tax valuation for five years. The Texas Comptroller administers special appraisals through county appraisal district offices (CAD).

For a tract of land to qualify for wildlife use, landowners must implement management practices that help sustain breeding populations of a targeted wildlife species. To this end, they must design a Wildlife Management Plan as a component of an application. In some counties, TPWD biologists or USDA-NRCS providers may offer general guidance on completing forms or developing wildlife management plans. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department describes seven land management practices in the Open-Space form. One may achieve wildlife management goals by applying three of these practices.

Wildlife Management Plan – Goals and Practices

A land manager’s goal may be to conserve, improve, or restore habitat that is crucial for native wildlife species. Before implementing any management practices, one should assess the wildlife and habitat currently present on the land. For example, one could identify native bees and butterflies, and their habitat’s resources (food & nesting). For native bees, habitat must include resources for ground-nesters and cavity-nesters. Native plants provide forage resources (e.g., Central Texas prairie plants for native bees, see below).

Wildlife Management Plans should have the following information.

  • A map and description of the property,
  • History of land use and wildlife presence,
  • Wildlife species currently found on the land,
  • Wildlife habitat description,
  • Habitat management goals and objectives,
  • Management practices and schedules,
  • Record keeping methods.

Three of seven practices in a Wildlife Management Plan are summarized.

We monitor wildlife populations to gauge the impact of a given management practice on the species. Monitoring species diversity or abundance requires doing surveys over a three-year period. We encourage the use of standardized pollinator survey guidelines and data sheets. The Texas Native Bee ID Guide contains major para-taxonomic groups that can be monitored as bee species proxies. Survey results must be tallied, analyzed, and graphed to visualize population trends.

More Information on Native Pollinators & Private Lands

Texas Comptroller’s Office – Property Tax Assistance Division – Wildlife, (800) 252-9121

Laurel Treviño Murphy – Outreach Program Coordinator

The University of Texas at Austin, Integrative Biology, 1 University Station C0930, Austin, Texas 78712-0253

Photos & illustrations by Laurel Treviño