Wildlife in the Rio Grande Valley

Photo taken by the author at the National Butterfly Center
The ecosystem of the Rio Grande Valley (our wildlife and natural habitat) is much more rich and diverse than many people who have never been to the Rio Grande Valley realize.  Most of it has been cleared over the decades for agriculture and urban development, and sadly only a very small percentage of the native South Texas habitat remains.  But this small percentage- preserved in our local parks and wildlife refuges- is an important source of income for the Rio Grande Valley.  This kind of nature-focused tourism is called ecotourism, and it brings many visitors from around the country and even the world to the Rio Grande Valley.  Part of the reason our ecosystem is so diverse is that we are right along the migratory path for many species.  One example is the well-known monarch butterfly.

Photo taken by the author at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
The Rio Grande Valley has been in the national and even international news lately because of the controversy surrounding the possible construction of more segments of the U.S. Mexico border wall, which would cut through and negatively impact some of these natural habitats.  No matter what one’s political opinions are, it benefits our entire community when more people are aware of and appreciate our rich natural diversity.  If you would like to learn more about our local wildlife and the native South Texas habitat, the library is a great place to start.


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