Fort Hood employees honored for conservation efforts

Jillian Angeline reports

FORT HOOD - Two endangered birds are thriving again and it is all thanks to Fort Hood.

Public Works employees were given a Military Conservation Partner Award Wednesday.

Dr. Ben Tuggle, the Southwest Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Fort Hood went out on a limb to help the populations of the Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler while making sure soldiers can train in all wooded areas.

The Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler can spread their wings once again.

“A great reflection on things we’ve accomplished in 20 plus years here at Fort Hood at trying to keep the main thing, the main thing – the main thing and that’s train out soldiers,” Brian Dosa, Fort Hood Department of Public Works Director said.

Fort Hood has exercised its stewardship to help two Texas songbirds repopulate and thrive in the wooded areas on Fort Hood.

“Anytime you’re talking about the disappearance of a specific habitat or a species,” Tuggle said. “I think we lost a little bit of our soul.”

Employees and contractors with the Fort Hood Department of Public works helped eliminate the Cowbird, the predator of the endangered birds. The cowbird steals the eggs of the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo while they’re in the nest.

Dosa said they set up a cowbird trapping program to help the endangered birds have a fighting chance, and that’s not all. It is because of these efforts and others; Fish and Wildlife is proposing to take the Black-capped Verio off the endangered species list.

However, the key to conservation said Dr. Tuggle is to ensure the U.S. Army can both protect the nation from outside forces and protect the natural resources in the U.S.

Tuggle said they are now exploring how the population of mussels is being threatened in Texas and Oklahoma. 

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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