The Fishes of Texas Project: Government-University Collaboration to Improve Science and Conservation Management




Hendrickson, Dean
Cohen, Adam
Casarez, Melissa
Garrett, Gary
Birdsong, Timothy
Robertson, Sarah
Curtis, Stephen
Mayes, Kevin
Bean, Megan

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Since 2006, the Fishes of Texas Project at University of Texas Austin has sought to improve freshwater fish occurrence data for the state of Texas and make it openly accessible to facilitate research and improve aquatic resource management. Seven federal and state sponsors have contributed funding, but 73% of the total $2.7 million has come from US Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grant Program via Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Initially the Project focused on data digitization and compilation of strictly specimen-vouchered data, followed by georeferencing and development of an interactive website/database ( More recently, non-vouchered citizen science, angler-based, and agency datasets have been added, thereby increasing both geographic and temporal density of records, and a selected subset of data fields for all records is now published to GBIF and iDigBio.


The first part of this presentation focuses on the history, funding, development, methodology, accessibility, discoveries, and products developed as part of the Fishes of Texas Project. The second part is a tutorial on how to use the project website. This presentation was delivered online as a webinar to an audience organized by the Collaborative Conservation and Adaptation Strategy Toolbox, or CCAST. CCAST is organized by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Science Applications Program and the Bureau of Reclamation. It aims to increase communication among the conservation community that improves our ability to tackle natural resources challenges. They do this through the development, distribution, and presentation of Case Studies from across North America. The CCAST Team also supports communities of practice to address critical conservation challenges, including non-native species and response and adaptation to drought. Presentation is also found here via CCAST organizers:

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